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Managing Up: Part I - How to Manage Your Image
By the Institute of Management Studies

If you are like most people, when you think about the everyday meaning of the word manage, you are usually referring to a manager dealing with a subordinate. But a subordinate can certainly influence his or her image among the higher-ups by using some common sense suggestions and by following some strict rules. It's called "Managing Up.".

For example, use some of the politicking embraced by people in entertainment and politics to enhance their images: .

1. Be visible. Be seen lunching, socializing, and talking to higher level and important people.

2. Be an active community citizen. Volunteer your services to some highly visible charities, either through your work or in appropriate activities, where you will be seen by people above you. This shows high energy and a good community image. The kind of things that many senior corporate executives notice..

3. Get published. Write a forward-looking article on your area of expertise and have it published in a trade or professional journal. Make sure those higher-ups get a copy. .

4. Be a newspaper columnist. Try writing a regular bib-weekly or monthly feature for your local newspaper. Local newspapers are always looking for interesting materials..

5. Write for the company newsletter. If you are a professional with some interesting ideas that appeal to the average person, try writing a regular article or column for the company newsletter, if there is one. If there is no company newsletter, get permission to start one..


A young (25 year old) accounting supervisor for a division of a large tobacco company, started writing staff relationship articles for her company's divisional newsletter. She had no formal education in public relations, but she had a natural ability that caught the eye of the chairman of the board. He followed her articles for 2 years, at which time the corporate head of public relations quit. Guess what? The 27-year old accounting supervisor got the job of Director of Public Relations for that Fortune 100 Company. (A true story)..

By now, you get the idea. Try to keep yourself seen in a positive light by your manager and other higher-ups in your company. It will improve your image and keep you in line for the next series of promotions..

But you must follow the rules to keep yourself from getting into trouble with the higher-ups. We'll discuss these in part 2 of "Managing Up." .

Copyright 2009 by the Institute of Management Studies. All rights reserved.

Michael Williams and Kempton Smith help individuals and organizations achieve excellence in management. Visit their web site for more articles and training resources for people managing people.

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