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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Eden Ritchie’s 18th Birthday Celebration

Gallery

This gallery contains 15 photos.

On Wednesday night Eden Ritchie Recruitment celebrated a successful 18 years of business … we would like to take this opportunity to share some photos from the evening and say a very big thank you to everyone who took the time of their … Continue reading

Merry Career-Mas!

JustineI love this time of year, late December, just before Christmas, end of year exhaustion and running on adrenalin. The new year is just around the corner, and despite your fatigue from a busy year, the new year heralds promise and opportunity. You tell yourself all those things you didn’t quite achieve or get to this year – will be nailed next year. And – maybe they will – I am after all an eternal optimist.

For many people I talk with, it has been a particularly tough year – personally and more so professionally.  A change of government, a dip in the resources sector, international economic uncertainty, redundancies, restructures, rationalisations…

It seems to me that when we are under constant pressure to perform or deliver we can sometimes lose perspective. We switch to our emotional rather than rational behaviour, say things we regret, react quickly without consideration. It gets worse towards the end of the year, when we are tired, stressed and in need of a break. It doesn’t help either, when every time you walk into a public space, bad Christmas carols are playing.

I believe it is important to take time out, particularly when you feel you are getting to this point. And if you notice your change in behavior, pat yourself on the back for your high level of emotional intelligence and self-reflection.

I recently booked myself into a top end health spa. I systematically worked my way through the spa treatment menu, the staff there thought I had become a permanent fixture. I left feeling balanced, cleansed and happy and better placed to take on the world.

When I got back, I remember someone saying to me how lucky I was to have been able to go. At the time I thought, it was more due to better planning than luck, but I guess having the means and time at my disposal has a bit to do with luck.

If we are to cope and perform at a high level, we have to take time out, whether just to sit outside and listen to the birds, walk on the beach, swim in the ocean or hang out with loved ones eating great food…

Work, career, business… These are just aspects of our lives, not the entirety. Sometimes they tend to blow out of proportion and cloud our vision. We are multidimensional and need many facets in life to make us happy and fulfilled.

So – take some time out, spoil yourself in whatever way works for you.  Get perspective, take control and seek out the opportunities you deserve.  The new year is the perfect time to put in place the building blocks to your happiness…