As a Leadership Coach and Corporate Trainer, one of the most frequent questions I get from clients / executives / managers / students is “How do I get my boss to…dot dot dot? It’s a compelling question…a question I could never answer in the 5 minutes I was expected to answer it in. Why? Because “getting your boss to…dot dot dot” today, requires a process that you have to implement over time…a process of creating behavior change in your boss regarding their overall perception of you. If you master the art of leading up you have mastered the art of getting what you want from someone who has absolutely no reason to listen to you. Learning to “lead up” is also fundamental to leading down. And it’s an essential and necessary skill-set on the way to becoming an influential manager. It’s all about scarce resources; Influential managers are able to effectively access scarce resources for the development of their own teams. You can only gain influence if your boss views you as someone worthy of being taken seriously. So when I get that question from a client “How do I get my boss to dot dot dot?, I immediately know you have little or no influence over your boss. I also know that, if you lead a team yourself, your team is probably deficient with respect to being the beneficiary of the company’s already scarce resources. How do I know this? Because to give, you must get…to give your team what they need you have to be able to get it from somewhere, from your boss.
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