Essential Leadership Skills: Leading up

Essential Leadership Skills: Leading up

Essential Leadership Skills: Leading up  ·

The skill of leading up is important for efficient and smooth cooperation with your manager and upper management.

In the article series of essential leadership skills, we now have a look at leading up, why it is important and how to do it. If you feel that your manager or other managers are constantly bothering you, or questioning your work and requiring more reports, this happens most likely because you do not provide enough information for them by yourself. When you start taking their information needs into account and into your action plan, and start providing correct and timely information and reporting on your progress and results, things will change. You will quickly notice that the requests from management will lessen as you gain their trust with constant usable information flow, and in return they will grant you more autonomy and room to maneuver. 

Leading up is Antidote for micro-managers

In most cases when you feel your manager or upper management are stepping too much into your area, they do this because they do not know what is going on, and they don’t have enough information in their hands to make their decisions or report to their management. They are uncertain of what is happening, and this creates confusion and mistrust even when it is not warranted. When you take care of informing them on regular manner and keep delivering the results as expected, they will most likely step out of your area, and let you do your work. If you want to learn more ways how to deal with micro-managers, you might be interested my new book, 7 Principles of Becoming a Leader at Amazons.

Supporting your management by leading up

Leading up is also needed when your managers need to do decisions and rely on you to prepare information for them. Do your best to give them all the information they need (and no more), to be able to decide effectively and as quickly as possible. When you are in this position, you have to realize that your recommendations have a significant weight on your manager’s decisions, and you are actually guiding his decisions and guarding also him from making mistakes. Build your expertise and relationship with your manager to be able to use this power and serve him well. At the same time, you are doing yourself a great favor, as you are getting more influence and responsibility in the eyes of your manager and your whole team. Use this power, but don’t abuse it, and never mislead your manager by intention. This will hurt your integrity and when you get caught, the trust is gone for good. Not only between your manager and you, but between the whole company and you. This is a mistake that can end your career in your company and severely harm your reputation and make it very hard even changing companies.

All in all, leading up is an essential leadership skill that will help you to cultivate relationships to your management by building trust and respect. Subsequently, it will also help you to gain more freedom to do your work as you wish, and without unplanned interruptions from your managers. Doing it well also builds up your credibility towards higher-level positions, as you constantly demonstrate that you understand the requirements and challenges of your management, and can proactively support in dealing with them.

If you want to learn more essential leadership skills and abilities, please read this article: Become a Leader: 12 Most important leadership skills

If you want to learn how to do everything discussed in this article, check out my best-selling book on Amazon!

7 Principles of Becoming a Leader – The definitive guide for starting and building your management career by Riku Vuorenmaa will teach you this and everything else you need to know to build your dream career.

Do you want to lead?

7 Principles of Becoming a Leader is the only book of its kind that covers everything you need to do to become a leader. The comprehensive method outlined in this book will guide you through all the essential principles of building a successful management career:

Professional development: Personal excellence and productivity 
Leadership development: Mindset and essential leadership skills 
Personal development: Your identity and character as a leader 
Career development and management: Get promoted and well paid 
Social skills and networking: Work with the right people 
Business and company understanding: The big picture 
Commitment: Decide and commit to become a good leader  

7 Principles of Becoming a Leader starts from the very beginning of the leadership journey and takes you through every step to becoming a leader who is in control of their work, career, and life.

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