Project Management

Project HEADWAY: Successfully Managing Up


This presentation is supporting material for this video.

In theory, power and influence in a hierarchy flows from the top down. Those that we report to set direction, and you who are below them follow it.

The reality is that it very often doesn’t work that way. Not only are executives human, they are also very often harried and overwhelmed with commitments, expectations and obligations. Attention is short, bandwidth is scarce and focus is a precious and rare commodity.

As a project manager, there is fundamental support you need from senior management. Whether they are your sponsor, a steering committee member, your client or your boss, there is action that you require, assistance you appreciate and political engagement you depend on. There are decisions that you depend upon, and approvals that are essential.

The challenge is that this support often doesn’t come automatically. Not only do you need to at times prompt for engagement, you often have to guide what engagement you require. Your executives are often dependent upon—and sometimes even relying on—your input, expertise and guidance, even if that isn’t always obvious.

We all need to manage up. Sometimes that is scary proposition. It can feel hard, unwelcome and at times fraught with risk. Nonetheless, there are strategies that can help. You can successfully and repeatedly manage up in ways that are valued, appreciated and relied upon.

If you have a boss that you need to engage with effectively and well—and who amongst us doesn’t?—this is a webinar that you won’t want to miss.

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"We cling to our own point of view, as though everything depended on it. Yet our opinions have no permanence; like autumn and winter, they gradually pass away."

- ChuangTzu