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Submitted by krishead on


[quote="Anonymous"]I am a manager for an organization where my immediate boss also holds one of the senior executive levels positions within my company. He is incredibly busy and leaves my colleagues and I to run our own projects independently for the most part (monthly manager meeting are our only real contact).

I feel that having a dedicated manager in his role rather than dividing his time between would introduce greater accountability and opportunity for growth amongst managers at my level. I'd like to approach him about this option, but I'm not sure how to do it appropriately.

I'd appreciate any insight each of you may have to offer.


To quote from the movie [i]"Backdraft" [/i]-

[i]"you see that flashing yellow light in the corner of your eye? That's your career dissipation warning light, and it's flashing really fast right now..."[/i]

[redacted] - slow down for a minute. Before you do anything that would give the boss the impression that you're after HIS job, consider a few things:

[list]-Sounds like your analysis is from YOUR perspective, not his. That's normal - but unless you spend a good deal of effort looking at things from his perspective (especially looking at his relationship with HIS boss, and what his own advancement plans are), your diagnosis risks being really, really wrong.

-Maybe he thinks things are just fine. And if he's not convinced that things need changing, he'll never be convinced to change things.

-Sounds like he's not meeting YOUR needs. [i]"I feel that having a dedicated manager in his role rather than dividing his time between would introduce greater accountability and opportunity for growth amongst managers at my level." [/i]Are you sure you're really speaking on behalf of those other managers - or is this about YOU? And believe me - it's OK if it's about you. Because you can fix that - by opening discussions with your manager about what will make YOU more effective.[/list:u]
Even if you disagree with these points - PLEASE - for the sake of your career, give this a lot of thought before you talk to anybody about how your boss is overloaded and the solution is to advance you. Very dangerous approach!


akinsgre's picture

I've been in this position before. Asking for his job didn't work. He ended up hiring a more experience manager from outside the company.

So, in a sense, he took my advice. He created that management position. It just wasn't for me.

Gaining his trust would have been a more effective way to begin performing some of those responsibilities.

I was told several times, the way to become a manager (at that company) was to begin doing the manager's job. I didn't understand at the time. That meant making myself the person to whom my manager could delegate responsibility.

If the job search took long enough, I'd have gained the experience and might have been promoted.

By suggesting that there needs to be a management layer between him and your team, you might be speeding up the job search instead of giving him time to develop you as a manager.

US41's picture

I agree with Hugh. The red light flashing in the corner of your eye is your warning that you are about to commit ritual management warrior suicide.

Your boss's job is not his to give, it comes from his boss.

Going to your boss's boss and asking for your boss's job - that will probably not result in you getting a promotion. You will either end up ostracized or you will get the job. If you get the job, remember the ruthless nature that allowed you to accomplish this and realize they will probably not be very protective of you any more than they protected your boss.

jhack's picture

Ask for more responsibility. Ask to take on the tasks that would comprise the job you want. Take the load off your boss.

Depending on your relationship with your boss, you could tell him that you have career goals, and that moving up to the next level is one of your goals. A good boss would help you get there, or let you know where he thinks you ought to be heading.

Let the folks above decide when you are ready for promotion.