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The Alchemy of Leadership Blog

Four Dimensional Leadership™ Framework – Managing Up


In a previous post, Patrick Macdonald, co-Founder and Partner at School for CEOs, introduced the Four Dimensional Leadership™ Framework.  This framework forms the backbone of School for CEOs’ programmes.  Over the coming months, we plan to delve a little deeper into each dimension.

Top of the list, and perhaps one of the more familiar dimensions, is Managing Up.  With input from the School’s proprietary research, our distinguished Faculty, and other leading experts, we have distilled the behaviours and attributes a manager needs to succeed as a leader.

Managing Up focuses on how to form the right relationships with your boss and other leaders above you.  You identify who are the key stakeholders in the organisation and create strategies to work with each of them.  We look at how you develop your followership skills.

The aim is to build sponsorship and support for both the work you are currently doing and your career progression.

Our one-day Runway programme incorporates Managing Up as a core module.  Before attending the programme, participants answer direct questions in a Self-Assessment Questionnaire themed around the four dimensions.

For Managing Up we ask you to reflect on three key areas:

    • Your relationship with the Corporate Board. Do you have a good relationship with the Board, and would you have their followership and support if you were to step into the CEO role?  Do you understand the challenges you would face if you became CEO, and do you know what you need to learn between now and then?
    • Your knowledge of Board Governance. What is the extent of your exposure to Governance and the Board?
    • Your relationship with the CEO and “C” Suite. How much are you learning from your current CEO?  How would you judge the relationship with your boss’s peer group and in particular the CFO and HRD?  Do you get feedback from the CEO regarding your strengths and weaknesses in preparing for the succession to CEO?

We consider the relationships with these groups and the understanding of their activities to be a crucial part of your preparation for promotion in your business.  As you move closer to the role of senior executive or indeed Chief Executive, you must understand the challenges that you will face and prepare for them, by growing your knowledge and support network.

Managing Up is a key dimension when considering career progression.  The next post will consider the second dimension Managing Down, which focuses on leadership of not only your immediate team, but the wider organisation.

The next Runway programme will be on 19 November 2015.  Places available.

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