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Photography by Sacha Styles

Having worked for ~20 managers over the last two decades, I have to admit that managing up has been one of the most challenging skills to get the hang of. Upper management is a key stakeholder group that shapes your daily job and long-term career growth in the org, so learning how to effectively manage up is critical. I’ve made many mistakes and incorrect assumptions about managing up, and perfecting it will be a life-long journey for me, but I wanted to share my learnings so far in case anyone finds it useful.

So, the million-dollar question: Is there some secret art to managing up? Is it about making yourself more visible in the org? What about honing your negotiation skill with your manager to get what you want? Should you be friends with them? Should you say “Yes” to more requests and be more agreeable? …


Helena Seo

Design leader, people manager and product strategist. Currently Head of Design at DoorDash.

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