How Do You Manage? Insights From LMA Emerging Leaders

How Do You Manage? Insights From LMA Emerging Leaders

By Eric Feldman
August 05, 2022 | 4-minute read
Marketing Management and Leadership Firm Organizational Structure and Dynamics Content Type Article
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We asked some of LMA’s emerging leaders to share their thoughts about “managing up” and how self-advocacy contributes to being a better manager and a more impactful employee. We spoke with four individuals from across the globe to get their insights and experience.

Jack Lammers, Business Development Technology Specialist, Stoel Rives LLP, member of the LMA West Region Jessica Horowitz, Business Development and Events Specialist, Torkin Manes LLP, member of the LMA Canada Region
Rebecca Blaw, Digital Marketing Senior Manager, Reed Smith LLP, member of the LMA Mid-Atlantic Region Moya William, Digital Marketing Manager, Macfarlanes, member of the LMA Europe Region

What does “managing up” mean to you?

Jack Lammers (JL): To me, the term “managing up” refers to one’s fluency in anticipating and negotiating the needs of managers. This entails an open-minded, proactive and curiosity-infused approach in interactions with management. 

Jessica Horowitz (JH): Managing up means doing what you can to make your manager's job easier. This can be done by developing positive relationships and understanding your manager’s goals, anticipating their needs and being respectful of their time. 

Rebecca Blaw (RB): Managing up refers to understanding and anticipating the needs of your managers/directors, actively working to add value to the business. This includes proactively investigating and proposing solutions to problems and looking ahead at the future needs of the business. This also includes providing the appropriate level of visibility on projects to varying levels of leadership.    

Moya William (MW): To me, managing up is about bringing out the best in myself while trying to create/add value to my manager and the business. It’s demonstrating the care factor toward my role and career by asking questions, and being curious about things happening outside of my day-to-day so I can make recommendations and anticipate demands from senior management. 

What’s one action you take to help build trust with your manager?

JL: When I have questions about my work product, I will ask for my manager to weigh in. I think asking for a second opinion shows you value others’ perspectives and understand the gravity of certain projects.

JH: When it comes to building trust with your manager, honesty is the best policy. Be comfortable owning up to your mistakes, always ask for feedback, be consistent in your work and offer help even when it may not be needed. A little can go a long way in building trust. 

RB: In order to build trust with my manager, I always provide updates on projects, even when not directly asked. I do not necessarily share every detail, but I share the various stages of the projects so they understand where things are at a given moment. I think this shows I am open to receive feedback and guidance at any stage.    

MW: Communicating is definitely one of my go-tos when it comes to building trust with my manager. Having clear communication has helped me build rapport and establish a good working relationship. It allows us to understand who we are as individuals and how we work. Most of all, when something has gone haywire it makes having those conversations much easier. 

What activities would you recommend to help someone become a stronger self-advocate at work?

JL: I would highly recommend participating in any firmwide events, whether that be a firm committee, volunteer shift, book club or a happy hour. Talk with people outside of your comfort zone and don’t be afraid to show your true self. You will stand out and become deeply enmeshed in the culture of your firm as a result. 

RB: I highly recommend getting involved in committees outside of your own department. This leads to introductions to a diverse group of people and provides many different connections, viewpoints and perspectives, helping you grow as both a person and professional. Professional associations are also helpful and can give you access to wonderful educational resources and an even wider group of diverse perspectives and opportunities.

MW: Networking with people across different departments, joining staff networks or attending firm events are all avenues that give you an opportunity to build your reputation and make your presence known in the organization. It’s these seemingly tiny interactions that can help you find your voice in the workplace, and provide you with an opportunity to share your values and really get across who you are and what you do.

Eric Feldman
Wiggin & Dana LLP

Eric Feldman is a seasoned attorney and business operations professional. As the director of strategic projects and initiatives for Wiggin & Dana, he supports the firm’s COO to develop and advance a wide range of operational objectives. Eric loves fixing things and is genuinely motivated by oat cappuccino.