Learn to Manage Your Boss

"Much attention is paid in IT these days to processes, with Operations Management, Change Management, and a raft of Something Managements. Perhaps the most important thing to manage is seldom mentioned: your boss."

That’s the opinion of IT Career Planet’s Rob England, whose article on managing your manager or, as he calls it, "management management," will get you thinking about your relationship with your higher ups and how you can improve it.

After advising you to take time to decode your boss’s motivations and figure out what he needs to succeed, England moves on to an important piece of advice: "Don’t hide your light."

Technical people are appallingly bad at this, at least in the cultures I know. Don’t expect the formal processes to automatically generate recognition for you. Don’t expect your boss to do research to learn how clever and useful (and profitable) you are. When you do something good, tell someone. Tell everyone. Practice doing this humbly, discretely, but practice making sure people know. Especially your boss.

Do you do that? If not, get started. While you’re at it, make sure you understand your boss’s key performance indicators (in other words, what his bosses judge him or her on), and figure out how can help him or her improve them. By making your boss look like a star, you have a far better chance of becoming a star in his or her eyes.

–Don Willmott