SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How effectively do you “manage up”?

  • Very — I manage my boss/superiors quite well: 41%
  • Somewhat — I occasionally don’t do this well: 47%
  • Not very — I struggle to manage up on most occasions: 10% 
  • Not at all — I’m not effective at managing up: 2%

Managing in Both Directions. It’s encouraging to see many folks investing the time and energy in managing their boss. Their needs and expectations have just as much impact on your/your team’s performance as do the members of your team. That impact requires a commensurate amount of time and energy to manage. Specifically set aside time to manage your boss. Keep a log of issues and information you want to get in front of them to ensure you’re always approaching the business from the same perspective. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

What experience have you had with being “layered” at work?

  • I’ve never been “layered”: 6%
  • I’ve been “layered” and it worked out great: 2%
  • I’ve been “layered” and it was horrible: 7% 
  • What’s getting “layered”?: 85%

What happens when you’re “layered.” Getting layered means there’s a reorganization where someone new gets inserted as a “layer” between you and your existing boss. You no longer report to your boss – you report to the new person who reports to your boss. This can be an uncomfortable and awkward situation. If you’re layered, you can take several steps to make the change go smoothly like acknowledging the awkwardness and fully supporting your new boss. Your initial approach to the change can make it be a great one or a disaster. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

How full is your “negotiating toolkit”?

  • Very — I know many great negotiating techniques: 20%
  • Kind of — I know a few core negotiating techniques: 42%
  • Not very — I know one or two key negotiating techniques: 25% 
  • Not at all — My toolkit is virtually empty: 13%

Learn the Tools, Win the Deal. It’s surprising that 80% of respondents said they’re “kind of” or less on how full their negotiating toolkit is. The ability to negotiate is a huge determinant of your happiness and success. These skills aren’t only for Procurement people. Negotiating for a day off, a different role, compensation, promotions, and even where to eat lunch as a team can seriously impact how happy and successful you are. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Have you ever faced a major ethical dilemma at work?

  • Yes, and I navigated it well: 70%
  • Yes, and I navigated it poorly: 12%
  • No, but I feel prepared to deal with one: 17% 
  • No, and I feel unprepared to handle it: 1%

Difficult Ethical Dilemmas. Many of you have faced these challenges and and handled them well. For those of you who didn’t or who don’t feel prepared, don’t be discouraged or intimidated. These situations can be overcome by executing a few key steps. Be right, seek counsel, document events, and keep good records. In doing those four things, you’ll have protected yourself in the process of making a difficult call. Failure to follow these steps likely results in an ugly situation. (read more…)

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

What’s the most important element of a great leadership conference?

  • Awesome speakers and topics: 62%
  • Lots of vendors to interact with: 1%
  • Great breakout sessions: 22% 
  • Social and networking activities: 13%
  • Great venue and location: 2%
  • Other aspects like cost and giveaways: 1%

Content is King. With time being so limited, it’s important to get the most out of learning events and conferences. Folks were pretty clear that the best conferences are about speakers and topics first and foremost. Breakout sessions were a distant second but still hold a draw. And of course, the ability to network with colleagues is important too. If you’re not focusing first on content above all other things, you might not be attending the best conferences out there. (read more…)