Managing Your Manager

By Bill Smullen

Most everyone still working today either has a boss or is a boss. Either way, you should want the boss to be successful because when he or she succeeds everyone in the organisation benefits. Below, Bill Smullen shares years of experience working for people who needed and valued good advice. Finding that place and that space in a relationship between a senior and a subordinate takes hard work and a commitment to excellence. Whether at the entry, mid-career or senior executive level, here are some life lessons that can help you be more successful in the workplace.

Raised in a highly mobile work environment in which people rotated from one job to another every year to three years, I had many bosses in a 30-year military career. Some were good leaders, others not so good. They came with a variety of temperaments and management styles. Yet each person for whom I worked deserved my full commitment, loyalty and support.

As a junior U.S. Army officer, I simply saw the boss as my senior who commanded a subordinate’s respect and obedience. As I progressed in rank and position, I came to see the boss as someone whose image and reputation were critically important. They were reflections of the organisation and its employees.


Brands Must Be Built and Maintained

With time I came to realise that my bosses had a brand. You read the term brand all the time on the business pages or hear it on television when an individual or a company, even a product are being described. What is a brand? In the case of an individual or a company, it is not simply a name or title. It’s not what you say you are or think you are. A brand is what you do, how you do it and why. A product’s brand is the name, design, symbol or feature that identifies or distinguishes one product from another.

In this 21st century world, everything a person or an organisation does or fails to do with respect to their brand is transparent and obvious to their stakeholders.

This is an era of perception relevance which defines how you are thought of in the marketplace. Investing well and wisely in your brand is critical so stakeholders will think well of you. Let them know what you’re good at, what distinguishes you from others and what you stand for. If your actions, your culture or your values are being questioned by those to whom you are responsible, you are in jeopardy.

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