The Unwritten Rules of Managing Up: Project Management Techniques from the Trenches

The Unwritten Rules of Managing Up: Project Management Techniques from the Trenches

by Dana Brownlee PMP


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"This is a must-read for bosses and subordinates alike, as it exposes our flaws but teaches us how we can work together to achieve our common goals."
—Ellen Coulter, President, The Advantage Software Company

What do you do when the biggest threat to your project is your boss? It's not that your boss is out to get you. In fact, bosses generally mean well. But clueless leadership from a well-intentioned boss can sometimes cause more damage than a criminal mastermind tying your project to the railroad tracks.

The Unwritten Rules of Managing Up provides refreshingly practical and candid insight into the best practices and techniques that project managers have successfully used for decades to manage a wide variety of senior-level stakeholders—ranging from perfectly competent and pleasant to downright dysfunctional and inept.

While managing up is an incredibly valuable skill for virtually any type of boss (not just the difficult ones), the book includes recommendations for managing six particularly challenging—and common—types of senior leaders. They are the bombastic Tornado, who takes over meetings without realizing it; the Wishful Thinker, who regularly asks the impossible; the Clueless Chameleon, who can't quite decide what he or she really wants (but still holds you responsible for delivering it); the MIA Boss, who is just not around enough; the Meddlesome Micromanager, who hovers and insists you complete a task his or her way; and the Naked Emperor, who falls in love with his or her own crazy ideas. Brownlee also offers basic techniques to use with any boss, even a great one.

This book is not just for professionals seeking to enhance their workplace effectiveness but also for senior leaders interested in addressing their blind spots and coaching others toward a more collaborative, results-focused leadership approach.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781523098187
Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Pages: 216
Sales rank: 628,756
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Dana Brownlee is an energetic and innovative corporate trainer, speaker, and workshop facilitator who helps individuals and teams reach new levels of performance. She is the founder of Professionalism Matters, a corporate training company based in Atlanta, and previously worked at AT&T, IBM Consulting, and EMC Corporation. She has been featured by Working Mother, CNN, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Fast Company. A dynamic speaker, Brownlee has presented to audiences across the United States and globally.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Defining the "Difficult Boss" 7

Chapter 2 Defining "Managing Up" 21

Chapter 3 Managing the Tornado 30

Chapter 4 Managing the Wishful Thinker 49

Chapter 5 Managing the Clueless Chameleon 68

Chapter 6 Managing the MIA Boss 83

Chapter 7 Managing the Meddlesome Micromanager 95

Chapter 8 Managing the Naked Emperor 109

Chapter 9 Managing Up with Any Boss … Even a Great One! 123

Chapter 10 How Managers Can Help Their Staff Manage Up 143

Conclusion 152

Acknowledgments 157

Index 159

About the Author 165

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