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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You get what you pay for…

 

Linda Parker

If only I had paid dues to that old adage today … on a walk uptown in the scorching heat in my 5 inch high heels I soon realised I may not be able to make it back to the office in one piece trying to balance on the uneven pavements whilst dodging heavy foot traffic and scaffolding. Brainwave, I’ll buy a cheap pair of ‘flip flops’ to walk back to the office in, I wouldn’t need to spend too much as it was only a couple of blocks. Boy was I wrong, that cheap thinking mindset has left me in more pain than if I had remained in my stilts.

So where I am going with this you are no doubt wondering?  Well in recent times there has been increased pressure on businesses to offer goods and services at seemingly unrealistic prices, with everyone out to grab a bargain, but at what cost? In the professional services industry we have been front and centre in facing squeezed margins and unrealistic expectations. Tendering for a preferred supplier arrangement was once a non-negotiable must do for the business but has now become a real risk to profitability.

It goes without saying that in general, consumer’s beliefs and expectations are that if they go for the cheapest options they are compromising on quality. It is a risk many are willing to take. The flow on effect of compromising on quality of service in order save money can end up costing companies so much more than they bargained for. In the recruitment industry such risks could be a bad hire with considerable consequences to the organisation.

I’m not saying there aren’t decent operators out there who provide a cost effective and good level of service, however I question the value that is placed on quality over price these days.

My feet are still reminding me of that right now.

You can contact Eden Ritchie Recruitment via our website and follow our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the vibe

Justine Eden

By Justine Eden, Director

Last weekend while in the city for the purpose of birthday gift shopping and with the family in tow, I took an opportunist detour into the Apple Store. My iPhone 6 has a glitch in it that means it randomly switches from silent to not – which I find disconcerting. Being the control freak I am, the thought of my phone ringing during a crucial meeting means I have to continually turn it off.

Like the Catholic Church – the Apple stores have the best real estate and this one was no exception. Still early in the day, the store was already packed and the merchandise was gleaming with a seductive allure. The strategically placed door greeters had eager smiles and iPad’s at the ready. I explained my phone’s glitch and was asked whether I had an appointment, to which I replied that I had been passing and taken the opportunity to drop in with the hope someone could take a look. I was told to go over to the service area and book an appointment and that it would probably be in an hour or so before someone could see me.

Oh Apple! When did you morph into Telstra? There was a time you just strolled into a store and had 3 Apple repair geeks so keen to help, you ended up buying another product.

I’ve been a Mac user since university, when I started my business in 1996 it was a Mac we used and we have operated with them ever since. Oh how we were ridiculed back then however some time, say around the early 2000’s – Macs became cool. Maybe it was the multicoloured ones they brought out, I loved my black Mac Book Pro with its buffed surface, now I am addicted to my iPhone, iTunes and Apple TV.

Apple is defined in my opinion by innovation agility and edge, the “book an appointment” approach was so Coles deli counter and not what I expected. Apple to its credit will at times listen and change – okay so maybe you need to be Taylor Swift to get their attention but it’s worth a try. A company is defined by its culture, the customer experience and responsiveness, along with a quality product or service. I’ve always rated the service experience I’ve had at Apple – but now they’ve got me worried.

We don’t need any more monolithic corporate giants who are so removed from their customers they misread signals and under deliver. If you’re like me you get energised from a great customer service experience because it’s so rare. It’s a vibe you get from the moment you walk in, the place hums and the people are engaged and they want to help you. The systems operate below the surface so you don’t even notice them but they ensure a consistently high level of satisfaction.

I still need to get my phone fixed so I’m giving it another try, or maybe I’ll just settle and “make an appointment”?

Contact Eden Ritchie via our website and following our team on LinkedIn and Twitter.