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Submitted by Jim Clark on


Hi Folks. I hope you can help me with a current dilemma. I'm new to my company (8 weeks). I feel like I'm getting my feet underneath me, but my manager, a VP, is still reaching down several levels to my directs and their directs directing operations. He is still traveling from corporate to my office weekly and spending four days.

I try to get ahead of him when issues arise, but he stills chimes in and takes over. I know I shouldn't give him feedback, but what can I do. Do I need to work that much harder at getting ahead of the game and beating him to the punch?

What suggestions does anyone have?


Jim Clark

juliahhavener's picture
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Have you asked him those questions? He may feel that he's helping while you get it together, or keeping tabs to know where you are. It could be that he's concerned over a particular task.

Communication is probably your ticket out - find out what he needs, how you can fulfill his needs, and as you are getting your balance, show him. I don't think you can really do this without having the conversations covered in the 'Managing your Boss' podcasts.

LouFlorence's picture
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Hi Jim-

Congratulations on your new position!

The puzzle here is to show your boss that you can do this job without interference, while recognizing that he can direct your employees (they are still his employees, too!).

Hustle to get ahead of the issues he is handling. Start implementing all the good practices you'll find here (One-on-ones, feedback, coaching, delegating). And, most importantly, get clear on what his expectations for you are and what your goals are. Asking to have those conversations should open the lines of communication between you. Being a good manager will soon make him feel more comfortable with handing over the reins.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes.


kevdude's picture

Interesting timing. I have a similar situation with my boss who does not necessarilly micro-manage, but rather jumps in and speaks on my behalf in meetings where we are both attendees. I find it rude and disrespectful, though on a personal level I actually do like my boss. But I have also been wondering if this happens because

a) he does not trust me
b) he does not think I'm capable
c) he feels threatened by me
d) he is trying to publically prove that he is more "superior" to me
e) a combination of the above

Anyway, in my one-on-ones I have asked if there are any performance issues or if there are any expectations I need to understand - "no" is the usual answer. But his actions are proving otherwise.

... there is a bit more history there (see my other post "Plutoed") and unfortunately for me I am finding it difficult to work in an environment where my wings are clipped. I am not sure how severe your situation is. But inevitably no matter where you work there is someone who feels they must control by undermining. For me, I see it as a matter for how we choose to work with it, or to make a decision to find greener pastures.

RichRuh's picture
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f) He's a High-D, you're not, and he's too impatient to wait for you to answer.

I, of course, would never do that. :oops:


kevdude's picture

He is most definitely a High D, and it's more than impatience, it's just dive right in as if it was he who was spoken to. It's disturbing and annoying the hell out of me, despite my having indicated I am not happy with that, and despite my having (on numerous occasions) chopped him off before he gets carried away.

To top it off, he is very young (a Generation Y) and is climbing rapidly in the company, using smoke-and-mirrors as well as displaying actual talent. I am a Gen X and find it amazing that although there is no doubt he is capable, he is very cocky and has not developed certain wisdom and experiences with managing people. But perhaps that is a separate topic for another post.

At the same time however I'm working my butt off and making the most of every day, and getting results, at least in my eyes.

Mark's picture
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Leave him alone for now. You're new. It's still too early to tell. It's not micromanaging...yet. He's just micromanaging the transition..which many do.

If it persists, start sending status reports. If it still persists, ask if he doubts your abilities or if this is just his style.

Keep us posted.