fb pixel
Monica Wofford, CSP, is a leadership development expert and author of Contagious Leadership and newly released, Make Difficult People Disappear.

How many of these are YOU doing to lead your leader?

Remember that catchy Paul Simon tune: 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover? Well, this is different. Or maybe not, seeing so many have what could be called a love/hate relationship with their boss. Pulling from a course a client asked me to write recently designed to help managers work better with, and even lead, their leaders, here are, yes FIFTY, ways you can do just that.

Remember they are people, too
Avoid the temptation to be intimidated by them when they’re stressed
Do what you say you are going to do, even if they don’t
Set a good example
Learn how to speak their language
Give them the results they request first, ask them to explain why they wanted them later
Don’t whine
Ask them to clarify priorities
Clarify what they expect of you
Remember there’s one of them and likely more than one of you
Respond immediately when you get their request, even if you just say “on it” or “got it”
Figure out their recognition style
Understand their personality
Determine what stresses them out
Ask them to teach you in areas where you struggle
Find something about them for which to be grateful
Never let them be blindsided
Alert them if you even think you’ll miss a deadline
Ask them for help
Try to anticipate their needs
Stay out of their way on stressed out days
Make an appointment for important discussions
Listen to what they don’t say
Acknowledge what they do say
Find ways to support what is important to them
Learn which things can go to their admin instead
Demonstrate that you “have their back”
Perfect your timing for difficult conversations
Groom your successor
Handle problems on the team you lead without having to involve them, when possible
Play by the rules
Make what keeps them up at night a priority
Always be optimistic
Be efficient
Be effective
Get to the point
Keep work and friendship separate
Thank them for their guidance, help, information, trust
Be a contributing team member
Understand their communication needs
Know what stresses them out and do less of it
Demonstrate confidence that doesn’t look cocky
Forgive their mistakes
Cut them some slack
Help them be prepared
Keep them in the loop
Build trust
Earn respect
Show respect
Be authentically engaged and effectively you.

If none of these work out well, then you might consider “Slip out the back jack. Make a new plan Stan, Don’t need a decoy Roy, just get yourself free…” But, before things get drastic and you need to go to all that trouble, and rhyming…leading your leader is really about you being the most effective you that you can be. That, in and of itself, will set you free to devote the energy to what they need.

I’m Monica Wofford, and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great Monday, an even better week and of course, stay contagious!

Your leadership style and strengths change how you lead and are perceived by others. Find out how you lead with this quick online assessment.

Your Style?