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At first glance, the title of this post sounds manipulative. It is quite the opposite. I had a boss who complimented me for managing him. He was a visionary with great ideas but was not as focused on implementation strategies. I was able to help him prioritize and break long-term grand ideas into bite-sized pieces. He could think of great ideas much faster than our work teams could implement them. For example, he asked me to implement five projects within a set period of time. However, with available resources, we had the capacity to complete four. I explained the situation and then asked him to let me know his priorities. The idea that was least important to him was postponed. He appreciated the insight which made him a more inclusive executive.

After being promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Executive Officer, I inform those who reported to me that I wanted people who made my life easy. This may sound selfish, but with closer examination, this approach might work for you as well. I explained how I lead and how I prefer to be managed by them. It started during my introduction to current staff and the hiring of new people. I told them that I am looking for people who make it easier for me to be internally attentive and externally aware of opportunities and threats.

The clearer employees were about my expectations and their roles and responsibilities, the less time I had to spend dealing with daily operations. However, my door was always open for unique situations or unforeseeable events. On the other hand, I had to trust my Chief Operating Officer’s skills and abilities and let go of elements of my previous role. I wanted to be the boss (leader) others wanted to work for, but not every boss feels that way.

Some managers don’t make it easy. Having a healthy, positive relationship with your boss makes your work life much easier both short and long term. In the short run, your day-to-day work experience will be more pleasant. In the long run, your current boss could have an impact on your future because the references they provide to future employers carry a lot of weight and could impact the trajectory of your career.

I have had good and less than ideal bosses. One was so overbearing that I all most quit. The person tended to be demanding, belittling, and condescending. One day I had had it with them. I was going to tell them exactly what I thought. But rather than going toe to toe with the boss, a co-worker simply asked that boss, “how can I help you?’ It completely took the tension out of the room. I will never forget that story. It was the best example of how to manage a high task, low touch boss.

Feel free to share your thoughts about how to manage good and bad bossesTo learn more about my coaching practice visit