Managing bosses 2
BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - May 7, 2017 - 12:00am

Today is the second part of our two-part series on how to lead and manage our leaders and managers. And as I mentioned yesterday in this column, I do a lot of leadership training and my favorite one is coming up soon. It is called “Level Up Leadership” and many of the ideas presented here are derivative of the lessons and research extracted from the sessions.

Today we offer some practical suggestions on how to deal with the five general types of bosses:


When your boss does something good, give sincere praise. But do not stop here. You need to be an information resource for her, especially regarding interdepartmental issues. Make her look good. She takes pride in her reputation. Since she is not likely to give you direct criticism, ask her for development advice. Relationships are important to her. Be honest and loyal at all times.


Accept the reality that you are a mere prop or a satellite around this boss. Find ways to increase her political capital. Never compete with her and seek attention. You will develop an enemy. Acknowledge when she does something noteworthy.

Ask her for advice. This does not mean you ought to suck off to this boss, but you want to learn from her and put some sense of order in the organization in order to achieve company objectives. In my personal experience, selfie-bosses tend to implode one day but that is not your job. While you become a part-time PR machine for your boss, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Continue to enrich yourself, network and be alert for your next big opportunity.


You would be very fortunate to have this type for your boss. You can always learn the most from these types of leaders. Take them seriously. Be on time and meet deadlines. Ask for challenging assignments. Anticipate needs within your job and your team and take charge. Become an expert. Offer to share your knowledge with the team. Offer to “back up” your boss when he or she is on vacation. High achievers actually appreciate initiative and commitment to the team goals.


These kinds of bosses or managers are the most insecure types in any organization. They are easily threatened. Put this boss at ease by letting them know that they are in charge and you are here to make life and work for them easier. However, you need to make sure that you do not emulate this boss and follow her standards. Unless these roadblock bosses change and innovate, they will go extinct very… very fast. So you need to expand your knowledge and skill base without intimidating your boss. Identify right away if you’ve hit a roadblock and be ready to move on.


The best thing you can do is to be a provider of resource and technical information. Find subtle ways to support your boss without threatening him or her. Help prepare the presentation. Do not outshine your boss. You’ll look bad in her eyes and everyone else’s. Don’t give your boss false praise. You will come across as being insincere and untrustworthy. Keep your eyes open for mission critical projects. Your boss may not be aware of what is hot. Use your creativity to develop your skills and network base and help make your boss achieve more success.

There are many talented and skillful people who wittingly or unwittingly outshine their bosses. This is not a good thing. Make your boss successful and when he or she is promoted, you just might go along with her. But most importantly, in helping your boss succeed, you would have been the first person to learn, grow and develop in the first place and now add a dimension of experience and wisdom from the leader you are now leading.

Leadership is not all about titles alone, leadership is effective service and influence. And this is how you lead and manage your leaders and managers.

Here are some all-purpose advice for managing your boss, and your career.

Investigate and volunteer for mission critical projects.

Know your boss’ biggest issues, and solve them.

Use “we” statements; create unity.

Know the office protocol and follow it.

Keep busy, but make your work seem effortless.

Be loyal and committed.

Become an expert in your field and share your knowledge.

Encourage and appreciate candid feedback from your boss.

Create your own development plan and update it every 60 days. Share your plan with your boss.

Network, network, network.

Most importantly, add value to your boss, your team and your company daily.

Building a relationship is more than diagnosing a personality type and following a communication model. Your boss is human. Use these tips as a shortcut to a stronger relationship with your boss.

Leadership is all about influence nothing more and nothing less.

So, by now… Have you categorized your boss? Now we know her work and management style. Let’s take a look at two more important things to know. Personality type and timing can greatly affect your message, and your relationship.

Is your boss more logical or emotional? If your boss is highly logical, you won’t want to rush to her with your exciting new proposal unless you’ve researched it completely. On the other hand, if your boss is emotional you’ll need to capture her attention with an energetic pitch. When communicating with your boss, match your delivery style with her style.  Don’t underestimate the importance of timing. Does your boss treasure an undisturbed hour each morning? Be observant and work around her schedule. Bad timing can kill even the best idea.

How can you relate to each boss type?

(Experience two inspiring days of leadership training with Francis Kong in his highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership on May 17-18 at Makati,Shangri-La Hotel.  For registration or inquiries contact April at +63928-559-1798)




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