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The Importance of Managing Up In Your Career

“Managing up” is one of the most underused strategies in career growth.

When you see individuals move up in their career, it’s likely they have figured out that it’s not about going off on your own and surprising your boss with the end product, but about editing your work style and behavior in order to exceed expectations.

Managing up is all about understanding what behaviors get rewarded. It’s easy to get so focused on getting the job done that we don’t check in with our managers or directors to make sure what we are doing is what they want.

When you have a one-track mindset, it will likely get you in trouble down the road. You must always feel like you are a partner to your boss – a team joined at the hip.

So how can you achieve this?

There are several methods of communicating expectations, updating the status of projects and making sure you are always open to a different opinion. It’s a mindset; Instead of thinking, “I know this better than anyone else,” why not ask your boss for edits on your ideas and processes? This invests your boss in your work, leading to them supporting and rewarding your decisions.

If you want to know more about managing up, check out this article – it does a nice job of looking at managing up from the POV of the manager, and is telling for all.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Jessica says:

    I want to thank you for writing about what I had been thinking was an interpersonal issue between me and my former employer in a way that is nonjudgmental. I have been thinking that I am the nonconformist, a rebel, or negative Nancy but truly these things are not true. I have always gone in to the job with my head down and focused on the task provided. I encourage everyone to learn more about the successful business communication skills.

  • David says:


    This has been a struggle for many of us, myself included back when I worked in corporate. I would love to hear down the road how you are doing with implementing this concept of managing up!

    Best of success my friend,