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Managing Up: Build Effective Relationships With Your Boss

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Ethan EvansEx-Amazon VP, Leadership Coach
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Course Overview

Learn how to build successful, effective relationships with your manager, skip level, and senior peers.

This class contains a systematic, focused process for Managing Up successfully. It covers how to manage up in a variety of situations and to different people such as senior peers and skip level leaders.

Managing up is not just about getting recognition for one's work, but rather about investing in the relationship and understanding what the other person likes and dislikes, just as one would with friends or family.

Building a good relationship with your boss will make everything else easier, including handling conflicts and opportunities.

Your manager relationship is the single most important relationship you have at work; make it count!

Key Skills Covered

Working Well With Your Boss

  • Understanding Your Boss
  • Effective Communication

Handling Tricky Situations

  • Problem Solving and Decision Making
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Giving Upward Feedback
  • Managing Expectations

Driving Your Professional Development

  • Ask for Career Support
  • Earn and Get Investment From Leaders

Peers, Skip Levels, and Politics

  • Peers and Skip Levels
  • Politics and Ethics
  • Enabling People to Manage Up to You
Meet Ethan Evans

Ethan Evans is a retired Amazon Vice President, now sharing his leadership expertise.

Starting at Amazon as a Senior Manager, then Director, then Vice President, Ethan has had decades of experience in the skill of managing up. In this course, he shares stories of presenting to executives like Jeff Bezos, Andy Jassy, and others. In addition, as a senior leader in the company, Ethan saw both effective and ineffective ways that his employees managed up to him.

Ethan spent 12 years in startups (10 in leadership roles) and then had a 15 year career at Amazon. He has led global teams of 800+ and products with annual revenue above $500M. He holds over 70 patents. More about Ethans:

  • Reviewed 10,000+ resumes, conducted 2,500+ interviews, and 1,000+ hires.
  • Was an Amazon Bar Raiser and Bar Raiser Core Leader, responsible for training and maintaining Amazon's group of interview outcome facilitators.
  • Helped advocate for and draft the Amazon Leadership Principle (LP) "Ownership" — the words "They never say ‘that’s not my job." are Ethan's. 

These career growth courses are developed from his own knowledge and input from his extensive network of fellow coaches and executives. (See Rahul's interview with Ethan about the top 1% of engineers.)