We need to manage the boss in many ways. It is not in a negative context, as managing has multiple aspects. Managing a boss is part of managing our careers. In that conext we need to understand the boss as an important factor. Boss (to large extent) has a major influence on how we are perceived by his boss and by his peers. Boss has an influence on at least pace of our growth and on extent of our exposure or learning. Which means boss has control over effectiveness to be successful. So what do we do manage boss? First, one needs to understand him/her as human being – person without the title. Very often we look from the lenses of title. My experience is that look at the boss first as a professional and how he has reached that position. What is that he has and you don’t have in terms of professional qualities. That gives good insight into his/her positives and negatives. Understand boss’s scope of work, his standing among the peers and his aspirations. This is little complex work. But once you figure out this, you would understand where do you stand in this situtation. You would understand what are boss’s expectations from you to help him “win” and further his aspirations. This would also give you scope of your work, its relative importance in the organisation and thus you would get to know opportunities for your growth. You can then decide if your aspirations – growth, learning, exposure etc – can be fulfilled in the given situation. Reaching out to boss with your analysis of the situation, your expections and suggestions of how you can create a win-win situation for boss and yourself helps. It is a very interesting work.
The key question is what do you do after analysing in the above way and realising that your values, aspirations and professional thoughts do not match with your boss’s. Well, in that case we look at the organisation – the leader – boss’s boss. There is a always a possibility that your boss might be wrong in the corporate context and your thinking might be right. If this is the situation, have some patience. Find out ways to communicate with larger set of people in the organisation and stick to the values without leaving the boss.