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Submitted by drenn18 on


Hey all,

How would you answer this question the CEO asked me? By Wednesday I need to tell him, "What would you need from me as your manager?" Am I over thinking it?

Context: he's currently my boss's boss. Due to company strategy, he feels my role needs to report to him as CEO. The topics he's asking about are meeting frequency, style of feedback I like, basically how to be the best manager he can be. I don't think I should say much of anything because I need him to manage as he thinks is best. I would only ask that he monitor my effectiveness and do what works best, but in a way he is doing that by asking the question.

I initially answered just help me be productive because that's what Drucker said managers do, but for the written answer my gut says use the MT ideas about not giving your boss feedback and not asking for MT one on ones. We have a very strong relationship as we're already doing my key project together.


LEmerson's picture

If it was me and I didn't have any pressing needs for my job I'd probably say that good communication is what I need from him. The better I understand what he wants the better job I can do of providing it.

drenn18's picture
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Thank you LEmerson! I did have a bit more, but here's what I ended up sending:
- Generally, I just need help being productive (as defined by my role in light of CORA’s purpose)
- That means managing me in the way you think is best. Not only are you the best judge for managing your people, I also have a personal principle to learn how to be effective with any manager’s “style”. Since ethical behavior is assumed, I just expect you to do what you think is right. That goes for meeting frequency, feedback, and anything under the topic of management. And, as we do already, you can always ask me for feedback on anything.
- Regarding my career interests, I would like help understanding the path from where I am to a BUL role. My gut right now says it wouldn’t be best for the biz for a couple of years at least, until L&D systems can be run without me leading them.

mkirk's picture
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Hey David,

Great that you're reading your Drucker but he does talk a bit about this a little more in either The Effective Executive or Management (the 600page brick one ;-). From memory, he recommends working out our 'natural' or predominant preferences (are you more of a reader or talker? Do you learn best by doing or by watching? Do you take fast decisions or prefer to think first?). If I was your CEO, it would be gold dust to have someone share these with me, I'd immediately understand their behaviour much better and be able to be far more effective communicating with them. And I'd probably be impressed with their self awareness, to be honest. 

The other thing you might consider is doing the DISC analysis yourself and sharing that with them. Also gold dust, IMHO.

If you're really lucky, your CEO will reciprocate with how they best operate and then you two will really be flying !

Best of luck with what sounds like a cool opportunity, and keep reading your Drucker !

SIncerely MK

drenn18's picture
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I appreciate your thoughts MK! I had not considered applying those ideas of his that way. It would be a natural fit since I just did the peer one on ones as Drucker suggested, for this purpose. I think it might have been both of those and also in managing oneself where I remember reading that... your strengths, how you perform, what contributions peers should expect of you, etc.

Disc will be a staple for us.

Have a great day,