Managing Your Boss

Coworkers sitting at desk looking at each other, smiling. Photo by Gustavo Fring from

There are as many kinds of bosses as there are breeds of dog or Americans. Basically infinite.

The first step is to understand your boss.

  • What are his/her key goals, fears and problems ?
  • What is he/she like as a person: calm, wroth, happy, insecure, proud, ambitious, trusting, greedy, disrespectful, fair ?
  • How does he/she handle pressure: the really tough situations, decisions, and results ?

The second step is to decide what you want from your boss.

More recognition, less micro-management, more authority, more support, more direction, less hostility…? Understand that if you don’t consciously manage your boss, they will manage you… In this case it really is a zero-sum game. One partner has to be the case officer and one has to be the agent.

Finally, map a strategy to get what you want, “put in the controls” and then carefully operate the simple system you’ve created.

And how do you “put in the controls” ? Ah, Grasshopper, that is for another day.

This article was originally posted to LinkedIn