Letter: How do you manage up?

In regards to your October 20, 2008 issue on "Are you a Micromanager?":


The article was a nice read, but Mike and Judy did not offer anything most managers don’t already know. My specific issue is with how to properly handle a micromanager (or director), when I am already practicing empowerment and accountability with my staff. I do lead by example, but am continuously de-railed on my own efforts, when my boss questions everything that is going on….where is the trust? And truly, the problem is that the micromanager’s around us aren’t listening!!!


I am active in providing ways to improve processes and communicating the daily activities, which includes working with not only my boss, but other Director’s and Executive’s in the organization. The issue is that they (executive management) don’t take the next steps or just don’t care. Not only does this wear on me, but my staff, since many of the improvements comes from them. How do you manage up, when it doesn’t work? Or, what is a better way to manage up that will work?


As Judy’s article pointed out, work with your boss/manager and figure out the best ways to communicate, but if you have exhausted all avenues, providing every type of communication asked for, but with no changes, no decisions, no direction being given back, how can you be effective. I once asked my boss “don’t you trust me” in handling decisions and budgetary spending, the immediate answer was “No.” How do you empower managers that don’t feel trusted? And how do you effect change to upper management, when they don’t seem to want to change?


My personal feeling is that the Executive Management has ownership and accountability for trust, empowerment and accountability, because if they don’t practice what they preach, then how can anyone else. A middle manager does not have enough power or pull to make these types of changes, no matter how much “managing up” you do. Controlling micromanagement falls squarely on the shoulders of the executives, but they too need to have open eyes and ears to what is happening around them.


Mr. MiddleManager


What advice do you have for Mr. MiddleManager? Post a comment or send an e-mail to letters@fcw.com and we will post it for you.

Featured

  • Cybersecurity

    DHS floats 'collective defense' model for cybersecurity

    Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wants her department to have a more direct role in defending the private sector and critical infrastructure entities from cyberthreats.

  • Defense
    Defense Secretary James Mattis testifies at an April 12 hearing of the House Armed Services Committee.

    Mattis: Cloud deal not tailored for Amazon

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis sought to quell "rumors" that the Pentagon's planned single-award cloud acquisition was designed with Amazon Web Services in mind.

  • Census
    shutterstock image

    2020 Census to include citizenship question

    The Department of Commerce is breaking with recent practice and restoring a question about respondent citizenship last used in 1950, despite being urged not to by former Census directors and outside experts.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.