I like solving problems.
I like solving problems but as I've learn to my cost: solving problems can create catastrophes. If you're the same as me, don't make the same mistakes that I did. I'm one of those people that will grind away at a problem until I find a solution. Usually on my own. And I think it's fair to say I'm good at it. It's rare for me to ask for help. I regard that as one of my strengths. Maybe you are also similarly strong and independent. But I've learnt that this skill created a bad impression with my boss as I will explain.
On my CV I put that down as an independent problem-solver. Trying to be the sort of person that just get's on with their job. I figure out what to do and I don't bother the boss much with questions and problems.
I had a busy boss...
My boss was in the C-suite. He was very busy - someone with the sort of diary that if you want so much as half an hour you would have to book at least 3 weeks in advance. And he had a challenging task on his plate. He was busy post merger integrating two biggest businesses in the industry. Two top 40 firms. Initially, my area was not impacted by the merger and so it received less executive attention. I got on with what needed to be done. Sheltering my boss from the good and less good. Taking care of matters myself and only escalating items to him that were above my sign-off power. I believed this was an arrangement that suited my boss. He didn't change the situation over a number of years and his attention was mostly elsewhere.
I know I did good work.
The division grew profits by well over 20% CAGR for several years. I defused several ticking bombs. And the number of issues I escalated to my boss were few. So I thought pretty good going right?
Well as it turns out I was a total fool. Because if you look at it from my boss's perspective his perception of me is:
- He had no idea of all the problems I solved and
- Every time I spoke to him I was bringing him a problem
And usually pretty difficult problems because if I wasn't able to solve them then they weren't going to be easy. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining. Overall I did alright and I learned a massive amount in that job that I will forever be thankful for. But boy am I kicking myself when I think of how I could've played the game differently. I now know that if I had had a proper way of managing my relationship with my previous boss's, all the hard work I put in would've meant so much more.
So if your looking for information on how to manage my manager or tips for managing my manager then this is some of the inspiration behind the Managing your Boss system. So you don't make the same mistakes that I did.
P.S - Learning how to manage my manager is just one of the things I wish I'd learnt early in my career. I’m a Chartered Accountant - I studied a top business qualification and I did a 4 year traineeship. But no-one ever taught me how to manage my employees. And I used to be such a useless manager that I didn’t even realize what I didn’t know. That’s why I launched the www.boss.camp program - because this is what I wish I had had at the beginning of my career.
Communication is where the solution starts
I didn't speak to my boss much which was the start of lots of problems. That's why I recommend that you take control of the relationship and ensure that you have weekly one-on-ones with your boss. Do this even if they don't ask you for it. You don't have to accept poor communication, you have the power to change this yourself.
Tip: Weekly one-on-one meetings with your boss will:
- Help to strengthen your relationship with your boss,
- Improve communications,
- Ensure that you know what your boss's objectives and performance expectations are and,
- Ensure that your boss is aware of your outputs and accomplishments.
But just like everything, there's a right way and a wrong way to have one-on-ones. That's why I developed a free mini-course to show you what you should be doing in your one-on-ones with your boss: One-on-Ones for Employees (Includes a one-on-one agenda for you to download)
Are you looking for information on how to manage my manager or tips for managing my manager? Do you have any questions, comments or suggestions for managing your relationship with your boss? Help the rest of us out by sharing in the comments below.
This is a shout out to all the poor hardworking managers out there. Leaders are looked up to but the words Boss, manager and supervisor are dirty words. Yet it’s the managers who are the frontline of the organization, it’s the managers who have to deal with people problems, deliver bad news and produce performance, rain or shine. And no-one shows you exactly what to do and say, except me. I’m going to share with you how anyone can motivate their employees, even if you weren’t born with natural leadership skills. At WWW.BOSS.CAMP. The program includes topics such as:
- How to motivate employees,
- What are bad employee motivators,
- What you must do as a manager but isn't on your job description,
- How leaders get power.