The Importance of Managing Up

By Justine EdenJustine Eden, Director

Having been in the recruitment industry for a few years now (not specifying how many because it makes me feel old!) I have been able to sit back and watch many people progress up the leadership ladder. Some more successfully than others. There can be many factors impacting on success of course, but in many instances I have seen the inability to recognize the need to manage up, lead to failure.

Managing up can sometimes bring connotations of having to “kiss arse” – excuse the language, and I would argue that if this is what you interpret as managing up you are missing a key opportunity. Many leaders can be overly consumed with managing down and depending on the profile of your team sometimes this is necessary – but you need to ensure this isn’t a long-term strategy.

You need to focus attention on managing yourself – your career, your education, your professional portfolio to ensure you remain relevant and challenged. You of course will have an element of managing down through delegation and KPI’s to ensure deliverables are met.

But – how to manage up? Be clear on who above you this could include and then determine how often and how you will need to feedback to each person. In person communication is an effective way to build rapport and trust followed by putting things in writing to protect each other.

A good executive should adopt a no surprises approach in order to have the back of the people they report to and should also be able to determine what is communicated and what is not to prevent information overload. No Board wants hundreds of pages to read through, so your ability to grasp and communicate the key issues and expand if needed, is critical.

By managing up you increase your visibility and intel because you should be privy to strategic issues and be on the front foot to ask for the opportunity to work on key projects. You will better anticipate future challenges and therefore be able to better position your team to respond. Knowledge and networks are the power base of any ambitious executive but like anything require constant work and attention!

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BBB (Best Business Books)

Compiled by Jade Mortlock

Many of the industries that we work in have specific mandatory training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements. While these are imperative to continuously improve specialist knowledge, skills and abilities a personal commitment to broader professional learning and development is equally important. The team at Eden Ritchie Recruitment, who work across a number of industries, recently had a discussion about the best business books that we have ever read (and why) and we came up with the below list that we’d like to share with you. We would also love to hear the name and title of YOUR favourite business book.

Justine Eden – Director (https://au.linkedin.com/in/justineeden) The Rise by Sarah Lewis. I saw Sarah speak at a conference and bought her book, the connections she makes between business, sport and the arts resonated with me. As a bit of a “controlling perfectionist” myself reflecting on “failure” and “mastery” made so much sense in a hyper critical and connected world where we are too quickly judged.

Kim Ritchie – Director (https://au.linkedin.com/in/kimritchie) Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett. I initially looked at this book due to the title but what pulled me in was the funny and dry humour she uses to give a warts and all view of woman in the male dominated corporate world and the tools (and stories) successful woman have used to try and become equals at the table.

Angela Anderson – Recruitment Consultant (https://au.linkedin.com/in/angelaanderson3) The Truth About Leadership by James M Kouzes and Barry Z Posner. This book presents theories and insights based on the authors’ decades of research and experience working with leaders, yet is very focused and readable and has some engaging stories. It highlights fundamental truths and values, and makes a great guide for leaders in any sector at any point on their leadership journey. I have also previously used their Leadership Practices Inventory with a management cohort in another organisation and found it was very effective and well-received.

Linda Parker – Executive Manager (https://au.linkedin.com/in/lindaparker1) Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. Rich Dad world’s goal is to increase your financial IQ, and bring you a world of possibilities, a world of learning, a world of understanding. A take charge world, where you’ll be equipped to take command of your finances and live a Rich life. I read this book during a personal/professional development course, and it was enlightening. I also read ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff at Work’ – this was extremely useful for prioritising my work and refocusing on what really matters.

Angela Ng – FastERR Recruitment Consultant (https://au.linkedin.com/in/angconsultant) Good to Great by Jim Collins.

Elizabeth Duncan – Administrator Body Language: How to read others’ thoughts by their gestures by Allan Pease. This very amusing but insightful book details how what people say is often very different to what they feel.  It helps to identify subconscious cues and read body language in context.  As well as body language it includes speech patterns, image and appearance, dress, questioning techniques, interview strategies and TV marketing through body language. It is useful in the context of reading other people’s body language and also being conscious of your own.

Jade Mortlock – Senior Healthcare Recruiter (https://au.linkedin.com/in/jademortlock) First Things First by Stephen R. Covey. The principle-centred approach for prioritising gives you the confidence to make changes and sacrifices needed in order to obtain ‘happiness’. A series of user friendly, clear and concise graphics deliver the philosophy in effective manner while retaining the core message of time management and happiness.

Rebecca Ward – Chief Operating Officer (https://au.linkedin.com/in/berekaward) Blink – The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell. This great book discusses how we think without thinking – it’s about the decisions we make in the blink of an eye. Malcolm gives examples on reliable predictors for marriages that will and won’t last AND antiques that can be deemed as fakes just by looking at them! Some people have perfected the art of ‘thin-slicing’. Highly recommended!

Carmina Catahan – FastERR Recruitment Consultant (https://au.linkedin.com/in/carmina-catahan-847a433a) How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Another classic best seller, I read this book ages ago but decided to read it again since starting with ERR. It’s such an amazing book as a reminder of the simple but very effective things that we tend to forget when trying to influence people and create long lasting relationships. There are a lot of facts and statistics too in this book about human behaviour, how people generally think, which explains some of the underlying reasons on why people do what they do. A lot of examples from people in history, their successes and how they became some of the most influential people known in history.

Ben Wright – IT Recruitment Consultant (https://au.linkedin.com/in/ben-wright-b8117318) Who Moved My Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson. A motivational business fable. The book describes change in one’s work and personal life, and four typical reactions to those changes by two mice (Sniff and Scurry) and two little people (Hem and Haw), during their hunt for cheese.

Nicki McCaskill – Business Development Coordinator (https://au.linkedin.com/in/nickimccaskill) Speaking persuasively; Making the most of your presentations by Patsy McCarthy. Using real examples, Speaking Persuasively shows you how to hone your speaking skills in business and politics, in the classroom and in the community. It explains how to order your material, attract the audience’s attention (and keep it), control your voice and adapt your techniques for different situations. It also includes practical advice on making a successful business pitch, communicating across cultures and handling the media. Speaking Persuasively is for anyone who wants to become a more persuasive and more impressive public speaker.

Kate Broadley – Executive Manager (https://au.linkedin.com/in/katebroadley) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey. An oldie but a goodie. Written by an internationally respected authority on leadership back in 2004, Stephen Covey’s first groundbreaking novel implies true success is founded on personal and professional development habits like prioritisation, empathy and self-renewal. I always go back to this book when I am feeling a bit stale and need a bit of a boost in terms being the best you can be.

Please get in touch with your ER recruiter either via email or their LinkedIn address (above) and let them know what your favourite is. We look forward to hearing from you!