Managing up

“I’m so tired of managing my manager” sighed a friend.  “How about a blog piece about that?”

So, you know who you are, and, without further ado, here’s our blog piece on managing up.

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How to spot and manage an insecure boss
Offers five strategies for managing up with an insecure boss in order to make the situation work for you both.

Mostly on Managing Up.
NZBusiness+Management, February 1, 2023.
Provides suggestions to help determine if you are managing up effectively.

Why Managing Up Matters.
Simpson, Liz.  Harvard Management Update 7, no. 8 (August 2002): 3-5
It isn’t manipulation. Clarifying the goals and limitations of the boss-employee relationship enables everyone to move on to the real business at hand.

How to Onboard Your New Boss
Hollister, R. and Watkins, M.D. (2023) Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, pp. 1–6
Reducing their learning curve about your organization, team, and culture will help set all of you up for success.

LinkedIn learning

Managing Up (Course)
Are you ready to take charge, do good work, and get noticed for it? If you don’t manage up, you may never have the opportunity to manage down. This course is designed to help you learn how to maximize your career by managing up. Leadership consultant and best-selling author Roberta Matuson explains what managing up is, what it isn’t, and why it is important to achieving success. First, she helps you decipher the management style of your boss. Then she outlines techniques for building a strong relationship as well as how to avoid mistakes. She also addresses the need to master office politics, how to navigate your workplace effectively, and how to boost your performance by maximizing your personal and positional power.  

Managing Your Manager (Course)
In this course, author, keynote speaker, and coach Dr. Todd Dewett shows how to manage your reputation and one of your most important work relationships: your rapport with your boss. Discover how to understand your manager’s world, preferences, and lingo; support your boss’s goals; be a help rather than a hindrance; and lead by offering solutions. Plus, learn how to manage particularly difficult types of bosses, such as the boss who’s never available, the mean boss, or the boss who acts better than everyone else.

Book collection

The unwritten rules of managing up : project management techniques from the trenches / Brownlee, Dana
“What do you do when the biggest threat to your project is your boss? It’s not that your boss is out to get you. In fact, bosses generally mean well. But clueless leadership from a well-intentioned boss can sometimes cause more damage than a criminal mastermind tying your project to the railroad tracks. The Unwritten Rules of Managing Up provides refreshingly practical and candid insight into the best practices and techniques that project managers have successfully used for decades to manage a wide variety of senior-level stakeholders-ranging from perfectly competent and pleasant to downright dysfunctional and inept. While managing up is an incredibly valuable skill for virtually any type of boss (not just the difficult ones), the book includes recommendations for managing six particularly challenging-and common-types of senior leaders. … Brownlee also offers basic techniques to use with any boss, even a great one. This book is not just for professionals seeking to enhance their workplace effectiveness but also for senior leaders interested in addressing their blind spots and coaching others toward a more collaborative, results-focused leadership approach.” (Adapted from Catalogue)  Available only as EBook Libby

Managing up : how to move up, win at work, and succeed with any type of boss / Abbajay, Mary
Managing Up is your guide to the most valuable ‘soft skill’ your career has ever seen. It’s not about sucking up or brown-nosing; it’s about figuring out who you are, who your boss is, and finding where you meet. It’s about building real relationships with people who have influence over your career. Managing up is good for you, good for your boss, and good for the organization as a whole. This book gives you strategies for developing these all-important connections and building more than rapport; you become able to quickly assess situations, and determine which actions will move you forward; you become your own talent manager, and your boss’s top choice for that new opportunity. As a skill, managing up can do more for your career than simply ‘networking’ ever could and this book shows you how.” (Catalogue)

Managing up : how to forge an effective relationship with those above you / Badowski, Rosanne
“Everyone has a boss. And anyone who has aspired to move up the corporate ladder knows that their relationship with those they report to is crucial.” (Catalogue)



Managing your manager : how to get ahead with any type of boss / Dufour, Gonzague
“Learn how to effectively work with even the most difficult boss – and instantly position yourself for success. Placing manager “types” into real-world categories – from the Bully, Scientist, and Star to the Geek, Parent, and Con Artist – this book provides everything you need to make your work life more satisfying and productive.” (Catalogue)


A survival guide for working with bad bosses : dealing with bullies, idiots, back-stabbers, and other managers from hell / Scott, Gini Graham
“Being saddled with a terrible supervisor can turn even the best job into a nightmare. Unfortunately, not every boss is the great symbol of managerial perfection one would hope for. A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses provides readers with savvy, practical advice for coping with managers and supervisors who are mean, incompetent, unethical, and worse.” (Catalogue)

Bad boss : what to do if you work for one, manage one or are one / Gibbings, Michelle
“At one time or another we’ve all had a bad boss – from bullying and intimidation, to unfair feedback and unrealistic workloads. Contrary to popular belief, most bosses don’t set out to be a bad boss, and yet they are. A bad boss’s behaviour sets the tone for what’s acceptable in the whole organisation and in doing so, can cause major issues for productivity, staff turnover and wellbeing. This book covers all three perspectives for the direct report, the boss and the boss’s boss. It could even be you! This book will help you identify is it them, is it you or is it the environment in which you work, with key actionable steps to turn things around.” (Catalogue)

How to lead when your boss can’t (or won’t) / Maxwell, John C.
“Learn the secrets of how to lead well and be successful even when working for an ineffective leader.” (Catalogue)




If you would like further information please contact the Prosearch team at the library. We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources. All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Managing Change

Two weekends past, the country went to the polls and the result has been a change in government for Aotearoa.

Change is part of life but not always easy.  Some people, by nature, embrace change and adapt easily.  For others it is harder.


Our Prime Minister elect has been CEO of an organisation that has weathered change so should bring some understanding of the change management process to his new role.  

Companies often undergo change for many different and often complex reasons.  What matters is how it is handled by members of staff, but particularly by the leadership of the organisation.


In this blog we’ve curated a list of resources that offer some guidance on how to manage workplace change.



To Implement Change, You Don’t Need to Convince Everyone at Once: Rather than trying to convince skeptics from the outset, start with a small group of enthusiastic people’,  Satell, G. (2023).  Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, pp. 1–7. 
Rather than trying to convince skeptics from the outset, start with a small group of enthusiastic people.

The Most Successful Approaches to Leading Organizational Change’, Rowland, D., Thorley, M. and Brauckmann, N. (2023)  Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, pp. 1–10. 
A closer look at four distinct ways to drive transformation.

Getting Employee Buy-In for Organizational Change’, Olson, A.B. (2023) Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, pp. 1–5. 
Offers six steps to creating a culture that embraces change.

LinkedIn Learning course

Change Management Foundations
Beginner + Intermediate
The need to manage change successfully is more common and more important for a leader’s career than ever, and a specific roadmap for managing change is essential. In this course, instructor Scott Mautz gives you a playbook—a powerful, step-by-step approach to managing change, drawing from and building on key elements of change management models in practice today. Scott begins with a brief introduction to the field of change management and dives into the truths of leading change. He discusses how to conduct a change readiness assessment, then goes into the specific change management phases that follow. Scott details key steps and considerations of each phase, as well as what barriers to expect and overcome. He concludes with how to build a change action plan (CAP).

Teams won’t buy into a change unless they understand why it’s necessary. And without buy-in from stakeholders, changes don’t last. This course offers a fast-paced introduction to change management—a structured approach to delivering and managing sustainable change within an organisation. Instructor Claudine Peet explains how to identify why a change needs to happen, communicate your vision, and involve the right people along the way. Claudine then details how these processes and tools can not only help changes stick, but also positively impact both your organization’s culture and bottom line. With these essential concepts in your tool kit, you’ll be better equipped to help your teams achieve lasting results.

Change Management: Roadmap to Execution
Enabling new ways of working or doing is one of the most vital steps in a successful business transformation. But a failure to establish standards for change integrity could jeopardise this transition. Change advisor Christina Charenkova describes the practical steps and activities that need to happen during a change management execution effort. She explains the information captured with a change impact analysis, then shows you how to verify the business impacts and ensure that new impacts are documented and reviewed. She covers how to identify stakeholders opposing the change and define strategies to mitigate their resistance to change. Christina challenges you to identify further change activities, then shares a possible solution. Christina goes over ways you can ease pain points and make the transition easier, then discusses the need for developing a growth mindset when it comes to business transformation.

Book collection

Making sense of change management : a complete guide to the models, tools & techniques of organizational change / Cameron, Esther
Making Sense of Change Management is the classic text in the field of change management. It is aimed at anyone who wants to understand why change happens, and what needs to be done to make change a welcome rather than a dreaded concept. However, this book is not a “one size fits all” simplistic panacea to all change, whatever the circumstances. Instead, it offers considered insights into the many frameworks, models and ways of approaching change and helps the reader to apply the right approach to each unique situation.”–BOOK JACKET.” (Catalogue)

On change management
“Most company’s change initiatives fail. Yours don’t have to. If you read nothing else on change, read these 10 articles. We’ve combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles and selected the most important ones to help you spearhead change in your organization. HBR’s 10 Must Reads on Change will inspire you to: lead change through eight critical stages; establish a sense of urgency; overcome addiction to the status quo; mobilize commitment; silence naysayers; and concentrate resources.” (Catalogue)

Managing in times of change : 24 lessons for leading individuals and teams through change / Maginn, Michael D
“While change is essential to your organization’s survival, it can also breed instability, stress, and even anger in your workforce. Managing in Times of Change shows you how to help managers and employees understand the benefits of change and flourish within their new environment and responsibilities. Twenty-four workplace-proven leadership lessons and tools provide you with a uniquely personal look at the impact of organizational change.” “Employees required to change how, where, and with whom they work can have difficulty seeing the benefits of a new situation. Managing in Times of Change provides straight talk and actionable advice that will help managers, teams, and individuals understand and implement workplace change in order to strengthen themselves and the organization.”–BOOK JACKET.” (Catalogue)

Mastering turbulence : the essential capabilities of agile and resilient individuals, teams, and organizations / McCann, Joseph E
“The essential capabilities organizations need to master turbulent change.  Rapid and disruptive change threatens the adaptive capacity of organizations, along with the individuals and teams leading them. Based upon over a decade of global research and consulting, Joseph E. McCann and John W. Selsky outline five capabilities highly agile and resilient systems must possess. They must be: Purposeful, Aware, Action-Oriented, Resourceful, and Networked. In addition the authors illustrate how these capabilities can be assessed across four levels–individuals, teams, organizations, and their business ecosystems. The goal is to develop these capabilities in tandem so that the individual, team, organization and ecosystem have High AR–not just greater agility or resiliency, but both high agility and high resiliency. The authors outline balanced development strategies for creating High AR that can be used to master turbulent environments for competitive advantage and sustained performance Includes cutting-edge concepts and examples that take readers from the latest advances in neuro-science and executive wellness to global supply chains and innovation strategy. Contains illustrative examples and vignettes from leading organizations including Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, TECO Energy, Shell Oil, Walmart, and others Most important, McCann, and Selsky deliver a unique and practical perspective that helps organization leaders make sense of the dynamic world in which they operate”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

The influence agenda : a systematic approach to aligning stakeholders in times of change / Clayton, Mike
“This book sets out a systematic way to understand who you need to influence, how to evaluate the priority you give to each person, what tactics will work the best, and how to plan and execute your campaign. It provides powerful tools and processes which use the psychology of influence and grounds them in experience of managing projects and change.” (Catalogue)


The executive checklist : a guide for setting direction and managing change / Kerr, James M
“A guide for new executives that explores how to create an overarching, enterprise-wide transformative program. The book provides a best-practice checklist for 8 core areas: Strategy Setting, Technology Alignment, Business Renovation, Project Management, Communications Renewal, Employee Engagement, Staff Transformation, and Organizational Design.” (Catalogue)


Redesigning work : how to transform your organization and make hybrid work for everyone / Gratton, Lynda
“How companies can use the recent shifts in business norms and culture to reset work for the coming decade and beyond”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)



If you would like further information please contact the Prosearch team at the library. We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources. All enquiries are treated in confidence.


What is culture … really? by guest author Shane Michael Hatton

This blog post has been reproduced with the permission of author Shane Michael Hatton.
Learn more about Shane’s work at the end of this post.

Have you heard the story of the three goldfish?

It was originally told in a commencement speech delivered by David Foster Wallace in 2005 at Kenyon College, later published as an essay titled ‘This Is Water’. It quickly became one of his most read pieces of work.

The story goes:

‘There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, “What the hell is water?”’

Culture is a hot topic. You’ve probably heard quotes like “culture eats strategy for breakfast” and “culture is your competitive advantage”.

You might have even used phrases like:

• I love/hate the culture here.
• That person doesn’t really get our culture.
• They are a good/bad culture fit.
• We need to work on our culture.
• The culture isn’t what it used to be.

But what is culture…really?

Making sense of culture can feel like a goldfish trying to make sense of water. We spend our lives immersed in it we can remain mostly unaware of its presence or impact.

Last year in my research project with McCrindle we asked 1,002 Australian managers if they could define culture. Ninety-seven per cent told us they could.

Of course, our next question was ‘how do you define it?’

People struggled. It wasn’t that the answers they gave were necessarily wrong, rather, they struggled to give a consistent answer.

One in ten respondents described culture as:

‘Organisational culture is the collection of values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the actions of all team members.’

It was interesting that they could all articulate it this way. As it turns out if you google ‘define organisational and team culture’ this is the first answer you’ll get.

For many, rather than defining what culture is, they described the evidence of what they believed to be healthy culture using words such as ‘positive’, ‘inclusive’ and ‘valuing of individuals’.

It led me to this conclusion:

‘Culture is easy to describe but hard to define’.

If you want to start a heated debate, ask people to define culture. What makes defining culture so challenging is that right now a universal understanding of culture just doesn’t exist. However, our biggest threat is that we can spend more time trying to define culture than we do applying it.

I would suggest that ‘what is the right definition of culture?’ is the wrong question. And the more helpful question is, ‘What do I need to know to act on culture?’

In this short series, we’re going to look at four key elements to help us better understand what culture is so we can know what we can do about it.

Here’s question to reflect on:
“What elements do I believe contribute to our organisational or team culture?”

Want to know more?  You can read Shane’s series of articles on culture here  

Reserve Shane’s latest book, Let’s talk culture via the library record below:

Let’s Talk Culture: The conversations you need to create the team you want / Hatton, Shane Michael
“Packed with research-based insights from Australia s leading workplaces, Let s Talk Culture is the how-to guide for people leaders who want to shape a world-class team culture by design.Successful leaders and organisations know that culture is the unseen advantage of world-class teams.” (Catalogue)


Wellington City Libraries also holds Shane’s earlier work :

Lead the room : communicate a message that counts in moments that matter / Hatton, Shane Michael
“Not just a book about presentation skills (though if it helps you nail your next presentation that’s great), my aim with Lead the Room is that it equips you to leverage your platform to lead and mobilise your team and help you become a more effective leader.” Shane M. Hatton.
In the moments that matter, leadership matters. Our world is more globally connected than ever before, with easier access to information than at any point in history, yet in the important moments people aren’t just looking for something that can inform them, they are looking to someone who will lead them. The abundance of fascinating and practical information in Lead the Room is neatly presented in three parts, as the author talks you through what he calls his ‘three big obsessions’: (1) Positioning – Developing your character and your narrative, building your credibility and managing your reputation as a leader. (2) Messaging – Determining the value you offer, defining the message you want to convey and delivering your message with impact; and (3) Developing – Getting better at thinking, investing in yourself, asking for feedback and learning how to fail. Lead the Room is full of thought-provoking anecdotes and examples, that will inform and educate – and often make you smile. After reading this book the next time you stand up on your platform, whatever that may look like, you’ll see it as more than an opportunity to speak to the room; rather, you’ll see it as an opportunity to lead the room. Every moment matters. Use it as an opportunity to say something that truly counts.” (Catalogue)

Shane Michael Hatton is an author, trainer, coach and speaker based out of Melbourne, Australia and works online, onstage and in person.  “I’m a member of the Forbes Global Coaches Council, a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach and the author of ‘Lead The Room – Communicate a Message That Counts in Moments That Matter’”.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library.  We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources.  All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Motivational leadership

In a recent conversation with a project manager friend, he told me of a meeting his team had had with their senior manager.

The project team is working on a major, national, big budget project. They are an experienced, hardworking and competent group of professionals.

Therefore, on presenting a progress report to their leadership they were stunned to be told “You’re too optimistic”.

Uhhh … what …. ????

Needless to say the team found this “feedback” unhelpful and certainly lacking in motivation. They also felt unappreciated. My project manager friend noted he, and others in his team, would be looking closely at other job opportunities post-Xmas holidays.

When the team begins the inevitable drift out the door to take up roles with other organisations senior management will wonder why.

Motivating staff  is a skill. Unfortunately it is a skill often lacking in many leaders.

Skills though can be learned.

The WCL collection contains a range of books and provides access to courses on motivational leadership.

Some recent ones are listed below :

The everyday leader : how to motivate, empower and influence those around you / Cross, John
“Every day, every one of us is a leader in some way – we just don’t necessarily know it. Leadership is about inspiring change and movement, whether on an individual level – a person’s attitude, behaviour, emotions or habits – or an organizational level – culture, goals, vision or strategy. By changing the way you approach the concept of leadership, The Everyday Leader will help you recognise and embrace your natural leadership qualities, so that you can be more motivated and empowered in the workplace and at home. The Everyday Leader tackles the main challenges that leaders face at some point in their career: leading teams; attaining buy-in from stakeholders; leading through artificial intelligence; whistleblowing; and leading from a distance. But the book also addresses the leadership issues that occur in day-to-day life: listening and empathising; making change attractive and accessible; influencing and persuading; and making the right decision through information overload. Providing advice and tools for those looking to polish their existing leadership skills or anyone who wants to take the next step in their career, The Everyday Leader also recognises that leadership doesn’t stop once you clock off – these are lessons you can and should take home with you.” (Catalogue)
Also available as an ebook

Beyond happiness : how authentic leaders prioritize purpose and people for growth and impact / Lim, Jenn
“Jenn Lim has dedicated her career to helping organizations from name-brand industry leaders to innovative governments build workplace cultures that benefit both their employees and their bottom line, with less employee turnover, greater engagement, and higher profits. Her culture consultancy, Delivering Happiness, demonstrates the profound impact happiness can have on businesses’ ability to thrive in our ever-changing times. In this book, she clearly and concretely shows the way the model works in a hyper-connected fast-paced world, beginning with each individual defining their sense of values and purpose (the ME), and rippling through the organization ecosystem (the WE and the COMMUNITY) in waves of impact.” (Catalogue)

I love it here : how great leaders create organizations their people never want to leave / Pulver, Clint
“The greatest part about your role in leadership is that it matters. The hardest part is that it matters every day. For years, Emmy Award winning speaker Clint Pulver has been the Undercover Millennial, gathering the secrets of great management from companies of all sectors and sizes. Now, he is ready to reveal the insights he has from his undercover interviews with more than 10,000 employees across the country, and show you exactly what you can do to generate higher staff engagement and retention–and build true loyalty that lasts. I Love It Here is not another leadership book written by a self-proclaimed leadership expert; rather, it’s the data-driven product of intensive research with employees who knew exactly when their leaders were getting it right–and getting it wrong. By pulling back the cover on tired, “too tried and not true” leadership strategies that just aren’t cutting it anymore, Clint will open your eyes to the mentorship qualities that are earning genuine employee loyalty in the world of today, along with the behaviors that–whether you know it or not–are triggering a rush for the door. By reading this book, you’ll learn what one shocking factor is the number one driver of employee turnover (spoiler: it has everything to do with you!), what you can do to stop the leak, and how you can start building a team that works, right from the moment a prospective employee walks through the door. Using real-world examples from companies he has visited as an undercover retention agent, Clint will reveal in detail the best, most proven methods he has seen for identifying talent, building a sense of ownership, and developing staff in a way that helps them recognize and realize their own individual dreams. Through thoughtful and engaging chapter-by-chapter exercises, he’ll guide you through each strategy, moving you seamlessly toward building an authentic culture of valuing and empowering the individual in your own workplace. Soon, you’ll be recognizing possibility where others see problems, and capturing the power of small moments to create a meaningful legacy. I Love It Here is a vision of leadership that reaches beyond career to become almost like a calling: a day-by-day, moment-to-moment journey toward becoming the best for the world. Let Clint’s inspiring personal stories, deep knowledge, and unique challenges help you become that beloved Mentor Manager who is remembered forever, and who knows how to bring out true passion and commitment in the people on your team. This book is your key to the solutions-based principles behind every organization that people never want to leave. Your company can be more than simply a fancy facade. It can be a place that has an authentic core built on valuing the individual–a place where people don’t just survive, but thrive. I Love It Here will show you how.”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Manage to engage : how great managers create remarkable results / Hackett, Pamela
“Engagement has often been relegated to HR or was seen as a ‘soft’ issue. But when you build engagement into the life blood of a leader’s role, you see it becomes a performance requirement and a natural part of a manager’s day-to-day job. The problem? Leaders have been ill-equipped to engage, not knowing the right tools to employ or the right approaches to take. After all, so much is coming at them. How can they stop and engage? But what if they could? Leaders have often seen engagement as the outcome rather than the launchpad to build stronger ecosystems and achieve results. Manage to Engage addresses this with simple concepts like The HeadsUP High 5, behavior models like Active Management, and a unique performance improvement tool that engages as much as it brings about change: the 1.5.30 Connect–a daily, weekly, monthly routine performance review to enable people to achieve day-to-day business results. Packed with tools and exercises to apply at work today, Manage to Engage helps you address quality of life at work from the start”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Linkedin learning offers a variety of courses such as this presented by Chris Croft
Inspirational Leadership Skills: Practical Motivational Leadership
As a manager, you have the power to make or break your employees’ experience at work. This course was designed to show you how to sharpen your leadership skills, define a vision for your team, and ultimately transcend from a manager to an inspirational leader. Instructor Chris Croft has spent 20+ years teaching leadership skills to professionals of all stripes. Here, he draws from his experiences as he shares over two dozen practical steps you can take to inspire and motivate your team. Get practical strategies for delegating and motivating, communication, dealing with difficult people, and planning the future of your business. Along the way, Chris shares examples from multiple industries that illustrate how these concepts function in the real world.

There’s also this from Linkedin learning :

Be someone people trust, no matter what
With the “Great Reshuffle,” employees are quitting their jobs at the highest rates in over 20 years, and 41% of the global workforce is considering leaving their jobs. Manager relationships are becoming the make-or-break point for whether employees stay or go. Join veteran HR leader Laurie Ruettimann as she reveals the data behind why it’s more important than ever to be a manager who demonstrates empathy and inspires loyalty from the workforce. Laurie covers basics first: be someone people can trust, be an example of integrity, and be relentlessly inclusive. She steps you through ways to inspire your employees to grow. Laurie finishes up by showing you how you can help your team members love their work by being a next-level mentor, a fun-loving boss, and a leader who is genuinely invested in your employees’ well-being.

Access to the Linkedin learning courses available to registered library users.

If you need more information please contact the Prosearch team at the library. We can help you find information across a range of perspectives and resources. All enquiries are treated in confidence.

Accessing the Harvard Business Review via WCL

The Harvard Business Review has long been a popular read for people in business and management.

Your WCL membership gives access to this publication in several formats.

Hard copies of the magazine are available on the display stand at CBD Te Awe Brandon.  These can be perused in the library or borrowed.

A Chinese version of the HBR is available on Press reader 

Mygateway  provides access to HBR content via individual articles indexed in the database and available in pdf format.

Click the Business  option and then Business Source Premier.

You will need to login using your Library card and pin numbers.

Type Harvard Business Review in the top search box and select the Publication name option from the drop down menu to the left.  You can limit your results to a certain time period by scrolling down the screen and selecting the options given.

The display defaults to the newest items first.

You can then select and read online or email selected items to be read later.