Managing the Boss

Your boss just delegated a task to you. Are you clear on exactly what level of authority you have in handling the task? Keep these five very different levels of delegation in mind, says Michael Hyatt, chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Organizing a $408,000,000,000 CEO

November 18, 2010 Categorized in: Managing the BossOrganizing

Imagine the task of helping the CEO of a $408 billion business stay organized. Walmart CEO Mike Duke relies on his assistant, Paula, to help him track a business that spans 8,500-plus stores and employs 2.1 million people. What organizing principles keep the office humming?

Pitch your big idea

October 28, 2010 Categorized in: Managing the BossRecognition

Jonah’s boss always tells employees to “think outside the box.” But when they do, top executives always turn them down. How can you convince the boss to try your ideas? Start by not selling an innovative big idea. Follow these steps:

Stretched between 2 bosses

September 10, 2010 Categorized in: Managing the BossTime Management

Anyone who has worked for two or more bosses can tell you: The division of labor often leaves you feeling stretched both ways. But with some schedule-wrangling and communication skills, you can manage the work more smoothly.
What’s the right thing to do when you’re asked to do something that doesn’t play to your strengths, or that was never mentioned as part of your job description, or that you flat-out don’t want to do? Admin Pro Forum readers weigh in:
The demand for highly skilled assistants has increased the past several years, as shareholders and customers demand greater access to executives. Among the most desired: assistants with tech savvy and “demonstrated longevity.” In other words, admins who have built over time a strong working relationship with their executive bosses.
Nearly half of U.S. workers work for someone younger than they are, according to a recent Career Builders survey. Is it a problem to work for someone younger than you? Only if you happen to be young: Among 25- to 34-year-old workers, 16% said they found it difficult to take direction from a younger boss while 7% of age 45 to 54 workers find it difficult.
Is it possible to give feedback to your boss in a way that improves her performance as a leader? Or is it better to keep quiet than put your relationship at risk? The ability to give upward feedback depends on the relationship between you and your boss. Without trust, the feedback will be impossible to receive. Tips for giving upward feedback:
Supervisors depend on you to protect their busy schedules, leaving you to deal with calls from sales representatives. You tell the reps you’ll pass the information to your supervisor, and someone will follow up should there be an interest. However, your words fall on deaf ears, and they continue to follow up. Some even stretch the truth in hopes of making a sale. So what do you do?
“My boss is a dictating micromanager,” one of our readers recently posted on our Admin Pro Forum, “and I’m having difficulty handling the situation. How can I let him know that I can manage most situations with little or no supervision? I don’t want to be insubordinate, but he needs to stop breathing down my neck.” Workplace expert and author Roxanne Emmerich outlines three steps to cure micromanagement:
Question: “In my company, applications for promotion are not confidential. If I apply for a position in another department, human resources will send an automatic e-mail message to my boss. The policy also says that I must let her know if another manager invites me to interview … Should I tell my boss that I plan to apply for jobs in other departments?” — Looking for Promotion
What can you do about the younger boss who ignores your experience? That was the question an admin reader posted recently on our Admin Pro Forum. She writes, “Most of our managers are younger and think they know everything. They tend to listen to the younger, fresh-out-of-college administrators.”  Readers weighed in with their advice:
Question: “I feel that I am being ignored because of my age. I am a young employee who recently attained a position in which I have to interact with top-level managers. When I request information from them, I find it difficult to get responses. I believe they are not taking me seriously. How should I handle this?” — Young & Frustrated