I just wanted to share my recent experience with everyone (being a high "I" personality I want to share my feelings).
I am a manager leading a team that is the fourth team in this program in two years (I have only been managing in this program for seven months and the most longevity any of my teammates has is four months) and my direct manager does not communicate priorities very well (she is a high-"D" micro-manager, apologies to all you high-"D"'s out there). I have focused mainly on getting the available information flows improved and to build on the "informal" tribal knowledge to make processes which will guide me and my team and help standardize our efforts.
Yesterday I got a very blunt email from my manager, who voiced her "unhappiness" at what she felt was a very important task that I had been training my team and developing processes for. My team and I were given no sense of priority for this and several deadlines which she had with her customer had passed without us even knowing the urgency. She is now "rustling the natives" in my team so to speak to get this "urgent request" taken care of and as such is taking a more hands-on approach to everything that my team does as she feels that I have failed her (she did not say that directly but the intent of her email and her actions signals as such).
The lessons that I have learned are that I need to communicate with my manager more to better understand what is expected of me and my team. On a smaller note, I need to be more "hands on" when I am dealing with my directs who are learning new processes so that they do not get too distracted and give them more latitude as they become more efficient in them. My team is great (I have O3's with them every week and involve them in all decision-making) and have rallied to my cause but I cannot help but feel that I let them and my manager down.
If there would be anything that I could ask for from this audience, I guess I would like to get their take on how I could better improve both (a) my relationship with my manager, which was fairly strong before, and (b) how I can better understand her priorities, and (c) whether my lessons learned are valid or if there is something I could improve on that I do not see. If I had known of her priorities I know that my team and I would have performed to her expectations but I cannot help but feel that I have failed her and my team as a result. I eagerly await your inputs.