WHAT IS MANAGING UP?
“You need to learn how to manage up!" The first time I heard that term it wasn't in a positive light.
I had just left a meeting where I had informed the process improvement champion that, although we had fixed the system, we were on a trajectory to break it again.
What was revealed in the meeting that led me to this conclusion was two major upgrades had been scheduled for the same time frame. Probability and logic were in my favor, but that didn't matter.
My boss ran the operations and maintenance team. His boss was the development manager, and his boss was the process improvement champion at the meeting. Sh*t from that level rolls downhill fast. The assertion didn’t get me into trouble, it was the time and place of the delivery.
If I had met with my boss and the other managers on our TEAM, WE would have drawn the same conclusion. Then WE could have met with the development manager and his TEAM. This would have led to an awareness that the schedule for the two major upgrades was drawn in sand. Then probability and logic would have led us to mitigate the risk, rather than create a sh*t storm.
After a time-consuming, high-level management review, the same conclusion was drawn. My reputation as a good engineer was intact, but my status as a good manager was tattered.
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