Managing your boss is building an effective working relationship with your boss to the mutual benefit of both parties. For example, to the benefit of your boss as well as to your benefit. In short, it is creating a win-win relationships with your boss.
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1. Managing Your Boss (What it is, and what it is not)
The key components of managing your boss are:
- Understanding “bossmanship”. In short, understanding who is boss, and who works for whom?
- Knowing and understanding your boss, his likes and dislikes, whims and fancies, etc.
- Working well with your boss, working with him, and not against him.
Managing your boss is NOT:
- Manipulating your boss to your advantage.
- Surrendering to his whims and fancies.
- Being aggressive or over agreeable (non-assertive) to him.
- Granting personal favors to win him over.
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Two beliefs need to be emphasized:
- Bosses truly want their subordinate to manage them effectively.
- Managing your boss effectively is to your advantage, personally and career-wise.
2. Understanding Your Boss (Bossmanship)
Your boss is your hierarchical superior according to the organizational structure.
This means that he/ she:
- Is appointed by the organization to supervise and directly control you.
- Is responsible for you, which means that you are accountable to him/ her.
- Is empowered to make decision affecting you and other under him/ her.
- Is empowered and authorized to instruct, and ‘command’ you to carry out duties as required by you as a member of his team. In short, you work for him.
- Is responsible for your job description, and for appraising your performance.
- Is empowered to recommend, or otherwise, salary increments and other financial incentives for you.
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Of course, occasionally you could be a leader to him/ her (leadership) is defined simply as a process of influencing others), but he/ she is still the boss. You still work for, and are still accountable to him/ her. Therefore, your have professional duty to be loyal to your boss. Failure to discharge his amounts duty to insubordination.
Basic rules of followership:
Even God loves angels around him. You have the right to disagree, and the duty to support. This is the cardinal rule of followership.
3. Strategies for Working Well With your Boss
Be good, really good in your work. Know your job. Know your Key Result Areas (KRAs). Excel in them. Be effective. Be professional.
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Help your boss succeed, and help him achieve his goals:
- Know what he is accountable for.
- Keep and meet deadlines.
- Anticipate his requirements. Be proactive as well as reactive. Have information available for decision making and problem solving.
- Strive for quality and timeliness.
Be part of his solutions, not part of his problems. Be problem-solver, not problem creator.
- Be up to-date in your work.
- Be innovative and creative. However, keep your boss informed of anything that you are doing differently.
- Do not argue. Disagree on opinions and ways, but support his decisions once he makes them.
- Be objective. Avoid being offensive or defensive when things go wrong.
In case you forget, you work with your boss. You are accountable for him. In effect then, you are part of his team, and not apart from his team.
It is also wise to remember that your job is an extension of your boss’s job. Therefore, your boss exists because his job exists. If his job is redundant, your job will also be redundant.
4. Winning your Boss Over
Winning your boss over calls for effective human relationships and an objective focus, ie. to manage your boss effectively for the mutual benefits of both parties.
One of the key things to remember is that your boss is another human being; threat him like the way you would want him and others to treat you.
Stand in respect of him, not in fear of him. Be his friend, not his foe. Work with and for him, not against him. No subordinate ever won a boss over if he continually goes against him.
Remember the two cardinal rules:
- Even God loves angels around him.
- You have the right to disagree, and the duty to support.
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Strategies for winning your boss over:
- Be good in your work. Be effective.
- Accept that he is the boss. Be an “angel”.
- Support your boss. Be loyal to him.
- Manage your relationship with him. It is part of your job. Be human related. Be objective and be assertive.
- Decide to like him. It is basically an attitude. Know and understand him.
- Positively reinforce your boss, “catch him doing things right” and then praise him. Remember, he is just another human being, all flesh and blood, and heart.