Managing Up, Down and Sideways
Everyone, thank you for joining us for FountainBlue's February 23 Front Line Managers Online program on the topic of 'Managing Up, Down and Sideways'. Please join me in thanking our panelists.
as a Business Leader - Kavita Shah, SunRise Memory Corp.
as an Operations Leader - Vicky Watson, Lam Research
as a Product Leader - Nancy Moreno, Adobe
as a Program Leader - Amber Barber, Jade Global
It's clear that this month's panelists have deep expertise and experience managing up, down and sideways. It has proven to be very useful throughout their careers, but especially with all the changes brought on by the pandemic. Below is a summary of their advice and suggestions.
Dare to Lead
Step up and step in to the roles and responsibilities your customers, clients, staff and executives need, no matter where you're sitting at the table and in the org. Don't wait for someone to give you an invitation, for someone to provide you with the credentials and certifications to solve the problem at hand.
Negotiate with partners and allies to help ensure that everyone has the skills, abilities and talent needed to succeed.
Speak first to the WHY (the purpose), then to the WHAT (the task), then to the WHO (who does what) before focusing on the HOW.
With that said, ensure that the parameters for the HOW are clear, while not defining exactly HOW something should be done (as that would be micromanaging).
Hire people smarter and better than you are yourself and help them to deliver results in alignment with strategic goals.
Communication is Key
Know your audience and speak so that you get heard. In general, executives want top-down/big-picture communications, without drilling into details while technical colleagues want detailed reports and information.
Be humble and open and invite input, feedback, advice and guidance to help build engagement and connection with others on your team and beyond.
Be authentic but direct, transparent and clear in your communications.
Let your left brain lead when emotions run wild, being curious about why the thinking, words or actions triggered yourself or others you touch.
Build Deep and Broad Relationships Based on Trust
Connect deeply with those around you, taking the time to understand not just what they do at work but who they are as people.
Treat everyone as individuals, respecting everyone's unique motivations, challenges, abilities, skills, triggers, and perspectives.
Make the time to connect socially over lunch or coffee, to connect as humans, not just work-mates.
Be worthy of the trust of others, and insist that those you trust are worthy of that trust.
Consistently Deliver Measurable Results
Focus on making an impact, and supporting your executives, staff and team so that everyone is aligned on delivering measured impact within required timelines.
Collect and report on dashboards of data which help track and analyze progress. Then use those dashboards to take informed actions to help ensure continued progress.
Sometimes you and your team have to shift and change in order to continue delivering results. Communicating that 'what got you here isn't going to get you there' might help the team to embrace a new way of getting things done.
Be open and curious about why things don't go as planned and focus on the learning rather than the blaming.
The bottom line is that communicating, connecting and collaborating will continue to be key to successful management and leadership. Connecting with those around you who feel the same way will help each of us better serve those we touch.