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What the Boss Needs to Know February 13, 2012

Posted by Tim Rodgers in Management & leadership.
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Obviously it’s important to keep your manager informed, but what do they need to know? It seems to me that any next-level manager reading a status report should be looking for three things:

(1) Do you understand what’s expected, and do your activities reflect that understanding? Working through others requires initial alignment with objectives that contribute to business success, and then monitoring the work to provide course correction if necessary.

(2) Are you making progress toward achieving your assigned objectives? Activities since the last update should be moving the ball further down the field.

(3) Do you need help? Are there barriers that are inhibiting progress? Should there be some adjustment in schedule, resources, or scope?

If you’re a manager with responsibility for a team, you also have to make sure that your next-level manager understands how the team as a whole is performing, not just what you’ve been up to. I think it’s important to give a rough idea of what each member of team is assigned to do, and to advertise their accomplishments. This gives your manager confidence in your ability to effectively utilize the resources assigned to you, including helping to develop future leaders and managers. It provides a historical context that helps distinguish the higher-performing members of the organization, something your manager and their peers can reference when it’s time for annual salary reviews or when a promotional opportunity opens up.

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