Boss Management


I am now-a-days going through the process of boss management, so I looked up the net and found this interesting info.

The fact is, bosses need cooperation, reliability, and honesty from their direct reports. Managers, for their part, rely on bosses for making connections with the rest of the company, for setting priorities, and for obtaining critical resources. If the relationship between you and your boss is rocky, then it is you who must begin to manage it. When you take the time to cultivate a productive working relationship—by understanding your boss’s strengths and weaknesses, priorities, and work style—everyone wins

Recent studies suggest that effective managers take time and effort to manage not only relationships with their subordinates but also those with their bosses. These studies also show that this essential aspect of management is sometimes ignored by otherwise talented and aggressive managers. Indeed, some managers who actively and effectively supervise subordinates, products, markets, and technologies assume an almost passively reactive stance vis-à-vis their bosses. Such a stance almost always hurts them and their companies.

If you doubt the importance of managing your relationship with your boss or how difficult it is to do so effectively, consider for a moment the following sad but telling story:

Frank Gibbons was an acknowledged manufacturing genius in his industry and, by any profitability standard, a very effective executive. In 1973, his strengths propelled him into the position of vice president of manufacturing for the second largest and most profitable company in its industry. Gibbons was not, however, a good manager of people. He knew this, as did others in his company and his industry. Recognizing this weakness, the president made sure that those who reported to Gibbons were good at working with people and could compensate for his limitations. The arrangement worked well.

In 1975, Philip Bonnevie was promoted into a position reporting to Gibbons. In keeping with the previous pattern, the president selected Bonnevie because he had an excellent track record and a reputation for being good with people. In making that selection, however, the president neglected to notice that, in his rapid rise through the organization, Bonnevie had always had good-to-excellent bosses. He had never been forced to manage a relationship with a difficult boss. In retrospect, Bonnevie admits he had never thought that managing his boss was a part of his job.

Fourteen months after he started working for Gibbons, Bonnevie was fired. During that same quarter, the company reported a net loss for the first time in seven years. Many of those who were close to these events say that they don’t really understand what happened. This much is known, however: While the company was bringing out a major new product—a process that required sales, engineering, and manufacturing groups to coordinate decisions very carefully—a whole series of misunderstandings and bad feelings developed between Gibbons and Bonnevie.

For example, Bonnevie claims Gibbons was aware of and had accepted Bonnevie’s decision to use a new type of machinery to make the new product; Gibbons swears he did not. Furthermore, Gibbons claims he made it clear to Bonnevie that the introduction of the product was too important to the company in the short run to take any major risks.

As a result of such misunderstandings, planning went awry: A new manufacturing plant was built that could not produce the new product designed by engineering, in the volume desired by sales, at a cost agreed on by the executive committee. Gibbons blamed Bonnevie for the mistake. Bonnevie blamed Gibbons.


In fact, I underwent through the same process for last one year. I got a new boss about a year back. He is a high-flier with direct access to CEO and is used to apple polishing as referred above. But I am not of that kind. So initial communication gap aggravated, and turned into a full-blown conflict with catharsis of sorts last week when we had a heated argument. I have given details in earlier posts.

So in the argument I told him how he was badmouthing me and I could not enter his mind to know what he expected of me. He did not like my tone and the comment. I said sorry if he did not like, and he replied sorry is a big word. And told I NEED YOU. Well, from that day onwards I am trying to manage my relations with him properly. Besides, in my appraisal also he had not screwed my marks as  was apprehending, so that too softened me.

I was getting feedback from others that he wanted me to brief him on office matters, instead of sending juniors. But I was not doing that due to my ego problem, as he never said anything to me but to others. Well, from last week I gulped my pride to start briefing him on a daily basis. I also kept signing notes with me for getting his signature. He had this beef with me that I am close to an ex-boss who he does not like. So I deliberately shared info about ex-boss so that things can come out in open and he gets to know that I am loyal to company, not to any individual. Besides, he had this feeling that he is not getting news about official and non-official things happening in department, so that I also started sharing. So I am making conscious efforts to manage the boss. Frankly though I know he is a self-centred, hypocrite and credit-grabber person. So I won’t take his words at face value, and also won’t share much personal opinions with him, as he can and has twisted things in the past and laughed at me on my back.

Will share more if there are any developments.



One response »

  1. Pingback: Notes on Ex-Bosses |

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