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How easy is it for you to “manage up” and lead your leaders?

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SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 170,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: How easy is it for you to “manage up” and lead your leaders?

  • Very easy: they encourage it: 4.86%
  • Easy: they expect and accept it: 27.08%
  • Not easy: I have to work at it: 35.59%
  • Difficult: they aren’t accepting of it: 22.57%
  • Very difficult: they actively resist me: 9.9%

Bosses are tough to manage. Clearly, 70% of you are having a tough time managing up. Either you have to work really hard at it or it’s like talking to a brick wall. Instead of trying to tell your boss what to do, instead try to position things as, “Here’s the help I need from you so my team and I can be successful. Can you help us out?” When you position it as a request only they can fulfill, hopefully, you’ll get a more supportive response.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS and author of “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”