Aligning Goals

Meet Joanne Linden, CPS, CEAP, CWCA President and Master Trainer

To be truly successful, you need to “manage up” and forge a strong relationship with your Executive. Administrative Professionals who learn to manage up quickly earn the trust of their boss, putting them in a better position to evolve in their role. 

Not sure where to begin or how to learn “managing up”? We’ve got you covered with some key points to incorporate into your process. 

Observe Their Style

What matters to your Executive? Answering this question is the first step towards managing up. Pay attention to the way they run things, and learn everything you can about their management style. Are they an “idea” person or a “results” person? How important is the bottom-line? Is it about the big picture or the small details? Incorporate what you learn into your work style and how you interact with your Executive so you can demonstrate your attention to more than just your basic responsibilities. 

Create Routine Meetings

This is best done weekly, but you can determine the frequency that makes most sense to you. Frequent and effective communication is essential to managing up, and scheduling brief (30 minute) meetings with your Executive can keep you both on the same page. Make the most of your time by coming to the meeting with an informal agenda that is divided into three sections – a review of recently completed projects or goals, projects and goals for the upcoming week and decisions your Executive needs to make on existing projects. These frequent face-to-face sessions will keep your partnership growing strong and avoid “surprises” throughout the work week. 

Know Your Executive

This is more than just their name, title, responsibilities, etc. If you treat them as more than just a job responsibility, you’ll get the same in return. Don’t let your interactions with your Executive be all about you. Take the time to learn about the challenges they are facing, their personal goals and the projects that are important to them. Understanding what motivates your Executive, though processes and pressures at work will help you empathize. You might also find out about projects that can showcase your strengths or expose you to new opportunities.

Learn Their Language

Many Executives are focused on the numbers and the bottom line. When positioning new ideas, hiring recommendations or procedure modifications, come to the discussion with any specific statistics that could demonstrate the positive impact on productivity, revenue or sales. If you’re unsure what the impact will be, reference results from case studies of other companies that have implemented similar programs.

Become Invaluable

Anticipate your Executive’s needs and sharpen your skills and broaden your knowledge on an array of subjects that will benefit your Executive. Are they constantly looking to book a certain type of event? Become the expert in suitable venues. Are they always looking for new tech options – keep up to date with the tech trends so you can offer options before they ask. 

One of the signs of a symbiotic partnership is understanding the needs of the other before they ask. Intentionally observing your Executive and knowing their patterns, will allow you to be a wealth of knowledge when they have a need – that’s not something Google can do.