Submitted by JacquelineM on
On more than one occasion my boss has told me to "manage up". I know from other discussions with him about his relationship with his boss that to him this means always saying "yes, it's possible" it also means stretching the truth about how good things are and more or less trying to hide any problems. Our agency has a reputation for stretching the truth/hiding problems in a variety of ways so this is not just him, it's executive-level culture. This is a serious problem for me, I highly value honesty and my professional integrity and do not want to become involved. I have expressed this to my boss and most recently he really became angry about it. He is also going through some personal things and that always deeply affects his behavior, generally he becomes especially angry and can become quite nasty to staff when he is experiencing personal stress. I feel that I very much try to anticipate issues and plan for them, handle things so he doesn't have to spend time on them, and jump in when I'm needed. I'm not sure what else I can do to "manage up" to him. What often happens is he proposes something, I indicate concerns I have (e.g. a funder will not approve the proposed plan), he says it will be fine, and then when there is a problem he asks me to solve it despite me voicing serious concerns at the start; generally what's needed to solve the problem is to stretch the truth. I am job hunting but in the meantime I want to be completely professional and do the best job I can, I'd love suggestions on other ways I can handle this and improve our working relationship without feeling like I've compromised my integrity.
Hiding problems will never
Hiding problems will never solve a problem it will just add another problem, so if you have one talk to your superior and find solution for it. - Marla Ahlgrimm