– More resources
– More credibility
– More meaningful, value-added work
– More development and career opportunities
– A bigger slice of the merit increase, bonus, or commission pie
Now think about when you worked for a failing manager. By “failing”, I mean a manager that isn’t hitting their numbers, getting results, has limited potential or career options, isn’t seen as credible amongst their peers, and doesn’t get along with their own boss. Stuff usually rolls downhill in these scenarios, so you probably experienced:
– A lack of resources; your team was always at the end of the line when it came to budget, office space, equipment, headcount, etc….
– No matter how good you may have been, you carried the stain of your manager’s bad reputation
– You worked on low priority projects that didn’t seem to matter
– You didn’t get much coaching, and maybe not much development (failing managers are usually threatened by ambitious, high achievers)
– A lack of career growth opportunities – because your manager was stuck in place, and didn’t have the political clout to be an advocate for his/her people
And oh by the way, if you’re thinking the best way to clear the path for your own promotion is to help get your manager fired – forget about it. First of all, it’s slimy. Second, when a failing manager gets fired, the organization usually brings in an outsider– why would they want to promote another one of the losers on a losing team?
So it’s in your best interest to work for a successful manager, and maybe even help them get promoted, so that you can get promoted!
2. Support your manager behind his/her back. Help protect your manager’s reputation by spreading good news about him/her. While it may be tempting to join the crowd when the water cooler conversation turns to boss-bashing, don’t do it. You’re not doing yourself – or your own reputation – any favors. It’s especially important to let your manager’s manager know what a great job your manager is doing.
3. Give your manager credit for your own successes. When you give that acceptance speech for employee of the month, don’t forget to acknowledge your manager.
5. Show confidence in your manager’s potential. A lot of managers don’t get promoted because they don’t think they’re ready, or perhaps they haven’t been formally tapped as a “high potential”, so they don’t even try. Inspire your manager (if you really believe they can do it) to think of themselves as having potential.
6. Make development suggestions on how to be better prepared for larger opportunities.“Hey, have you ever considered volunteering on a not-for-profit board? That would be a great way to learn how to work with diverse people and functions, and get an organizational perspective”.
Just be careful here that you don’t come across as making remedial development suggestions.
7. Give feedback to your manager. Positive, specific, and sincere feedback lets your manager know what they are doing well so they can keep doing more of it. It’s also a good confidence builder. Well intended, specific and proactive constructive feedback can help keep your manager out of trouble. When your manager asks you to fill out a 360 degree assessment, take the time to give honest ratings and thoughtful comments. Every manager needs a trusted advisor on the team – someone they can go to – or that will approach them – then they need to hear the truth.
So go ahead, hitch your wagon to that rising star, and who knows, you might just be sitting in your manager’s chair someday.