Managing Up, Managing Laterally, and Managing to Not Lose It

Managing Up, Managing Laterally, and Managing to Not Lose It

Hey Boss Girls,

Thanks for joining episode 3 of our Productivity Mini Series, Teamwork Makes The (Productivity) Dream Work! The goal of this 8-part series is to provide you with all of the tools you need to boost your productivity and reduce unnecessary stress.


First, a recap.

A lot of the things we’ve been talking about in this series (and even in #SNBB) are longer-term solutions to work productively and reach your career goals. It’s great to prioritize, but how realistic is it to stick to your prioritized list when you’re just entering the workplace and are the lowest lady on the totem pole? Probably not super realistic. It’s great to aspire to managing your own time, managing others’ time, only concentrating on work that plays to your strengths, etc. but you don’t get there overnight.

In the meantime, while we’re working our way up the corporate ladder or saving money to start our own businesses, we can employ the concepts of managing up and managing laterally to propel our careers and assert some level of control over our own lives.

Managing Up

Managing-up is the act of managing your manager. Understand their goals & responsibilities, and leverage them in the best way possible. Be two steps ahead of their next move, and track both their tasks and yours. That way, you’re both an EXTREMELY valuable employee and you’re learning how your manager does his or her job…. because one day soon they’ll get promoted and someone will have to fill their shoes. Why not you?

Managing Laterally

Managing laterally is a little bit different. It’s more an exercise in utilizing your teammates to the fullest than managing their workload. What do I mean by that? I think its easiest to explain by example.

If you’re a digital marketing assistant and you have a copywriter on staff, delegate the instagram caption writing to the copywriter so that you can focus on hashtag management. Hold your copywriter accountable to doing his/her job, which will free you up to do your job better. Use your team to the fullest – that’s lateral management.

Enter: The Tools

So now that we know what these things mean, what tool can we employ?

For most teams, work is doled out and prioritized in the Monday Morning Meeting. Most employees are passive participants in that meeting – but you’re not going to be. You’re going to be an active participant.

Follow these simple steps to take ownership of your Monday Morning Meeting and, eventually, your career.

  1. Download the Monday Morning Meeting Maker tool.
  2. Take 5-10 minutes on Sunday night to write down your major tasks for the week and how much time they’ll take you. When thinking about how much time they’ll take you, remember that you’re going to manage laterally this week and delegate any tasks that aren’t yours.
  3. Not totally clear on what your responsibilities are vs. others? Spend some time Responsibility Mapping first. On this Pretty Smart Responsibility Map there’s a spot to map out your leverage structure.
  4. Once completed, you’ll know how much time you have left for managing-up! Make sure you understand the goals of all of the people above you, and find a way to take something off their plate with the extra time you have. Because you’ve mapped out your own time, you’ll know just how much you can do without over-extending.

It’s that simple! Give it a whirl, and let me know how it goes when you tune into next week’s live stream of the Pretty Smart Productivity Mini Series.



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