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Project Managers Need To "Manage The Boss"

Aug 17, 2007
Most people have one. Yet attending to their demands and idiosyncrasies can be nerve-wracking. Wise people engage good boss management strategies. After all, bosses are not exalted and invincible gods. They are human beings with special roles and authority as well as the requisite levels of human weaknesses, problems and pressures.

Assess Leadership Style

Recognize leadership skills inherent in your own boss. This assists you to better understand your boss. You also benefit by becoming a better manager.

Leader #1: The Press Leader

These leaders pretend to be drill sergeants. Low self-esteem and a strong fear of failure drives them. They are impressed by outward displays of project management and busyness.rather than by results. The leader treats people as expeditors who obey orders. They tolerate no mistakes. Trivial details snare their energies and attention. They oversupervise and manage by punishment.

How to handle The Press Leader: Quickly discover on-the-job limits. Determine whether your boss is simply tough or ruthless. The tough leader precisely delegates authority balanced with appropriate responsibility. The ruthless one disregards human factors. If you choose to resist the press leader, do it privately, not within view of colleagues. This way your leader will not lose face. Support your position with plenty of evidence. Otherwise you lose.

Leader #2: The Laissez-Faire Leader

This leader abandons staff. These leaders provide little or no support in tough times. They stipulate little of what is expected of employees. They provide virtually no project management guidance on how to accomplish tasks. While the Press Leader may hover over an employee's shoulder, this leader does nothing to train or guide. The Press Leader overmanages. The Laissez-Faire Leader overlooks.

Managing The Laissez-Faire Leader: The individual who is self-motivated and needs little praise will work well under this type of leader. This leader craves facts such as costs, statistics and research findings. Provide these facts and figures for your boss, while at the same time trying to stress some human elements. Encourage your boss to clarify exactly what is to be accomplished.

Leader #3: The Participatory Leader

The Participatory Leader is adept at communication procedures. Under this type of boss, employees are given precise feedback and recognition when deserved. The Participatory Leader strives to involve employees in the assessment process. He or she is inspirational and innovative. The Participatory Leader customizes the type and amount of feedback required for each employee.
Managing The Participatory Leader: The most effective way of dealing with the Participatory Leader is to feed back the same techniques that he or she uses with subordinates. Keep them informed of what does and does not work. Since this type of leader is interested in results, your opinions will be heeded.

Leader #4: The Develop Leader

This leader goes a step beyond the Participatory Leader. The Develop Leader fosters staff self-esteem, autonomy and competence. Techniques for success are isolated and taught to subordinates as the need arises. The Develop Leader empowers staff and nurtures a feeling of reverence, not in the boss, but in employees themselves.

There is often a high staff turnover rate for employees of develop leaders. But it is a good one because it is upward. Because this type of leader creates such a high level of competence amongst the ranks through professional development and project management, there is always someone to take over when someone moves up.

Keep Your Boss Happy

- Learn what your boss expects and values.
- Strive for high quality results.
- Solve as many problems as possible without the help
of your boss.
- Keep your boss informed.
- Be your strongest critic.
- Get regular feedback from your boss.
- Differ with your boss only in private.
- Save money and earn revenue.
- Be a good leader yourself.
- Promote only valuable ideas.
- After all. Your boss is not interested in the storms you encountered, but whether you brought in the ship.
About the Author
Canadian Management Centre offers a variety of professional development, project management , marketing and management training seminars.
http://www.cmctraining.org/projectmanagement.asp
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