How to Manage Your Boss

To become indispensable, learn to anticipate your manager’s needs

Rodrigo Lopez
Published in
4 min readAug 29, 2019


A man juggles 4 apples in the air while blindfolded.
Photo: Francesco Mondino/Moment Open/Getty

MManaging your boss is a skill no one ever told you you needed. But it’s an essential one for both your career success and satisfaction. A productive relationship with your manager can mean getting to work on more meaningful projects, being chosen for more opportunities, and gaining respect within the office, all of which will help drive you forward. Here’s how to “manage up” in a way that makes your boss’s professional life easier and yours better.


Sure, you already do everything in your job description. But managing your boss means going beyond that. It means doing the unexpected.

You should:

  • Be a resource. Do the work your boss would like to, but can’t.
  • Have your finger on the pulse. Gather information from the front lines, meet with teammates often, and speak to customers frequently.
  • Constantly be furthering your knowledge. Take time to research, gain insights, and develop a deeper understanding of the organization to help your boss make better decisions.
  • Elevate others. Build up those around you.
  • Model empathy. Curiously ask colleagues about their work, push back gently, praise progress, generously take on work, and gracefully give feedback.
  • Keep your word. Most people fail to do what they say.
  • Bring fresh ideas. Break the monotony of everyday work by bringing new perspectives and a dash of joy.

Stay in constant contact

Develop a habit of frequently sharing information with your manager to help them better understand what projects the team is working on and how each one is progressing.

In his leadership-advice book The Score Takes Care of Itself, the late NFL coach Bill Walsh wrote: “Whether they read it or not, flood your [boss] with information that is documented — projections, evaluations, reports on progress, and status updates. Then ask for periodic meetings.”

Managing up is a bit of a balancing act, requiring you to focus on your work…