I usually report to the CEO on my daily work, and as such, I was also given large freedom and self initiatives. I am young and willing to devote all my energy to help this high tech profile company to grow. I worked really hard in the past half year and got lots of things done. I am able to handle a project alone, and from customers feedback I have done a good job.
However, this company recently hired a senior manager who is supposed to be between me and my CEO - an increasing of hierarchy. He is a typical salesman. He does not have much knowledge on our technology (he is learning though). Still, he likes to give opinion, and at the moment, he thinks quite negatively on what I was doing. He has almost turned down one of my plans. He thinks it was wasting time and he was surprised I took my own initiative to call the people on manager level to talk about my idea.
However, I got support from other managers during the meeting which obviously made him feel bad. He was not happy, and finally, on Friday, he told me that I shall not just speak out before I talk to him. I was shocked and sad when I heard about this. I felt like my motivation is going down and I cannot like my job anymore.
Now, everything has to go through him.
I have told my CEO that I would like to talk to him. Our CEO is liberal, he always told me to work in his company we need to be free and responsible.
What should I say to this middle manager in response to everything going through the middle manager, and how can I explain this situation to my CEO without creating more problems?
- Update 1
For all the people who are trying to help me, I got an update for you. I had a short talk with my CEO today for 10 minutes. I told him I felt a lack of freedom, and demotivated at the moment. Like many people suggested here I did not expect that he will give hand to either of us. He also implied it himself. He suggested me to talk to this new boss myself and find a solution. What I get from this conversation is:
- the CEO would like to have both him and me (I hope)
- ...to work together
- he hired him because he got too much business related stuff going on that he has not time to handle them all himself
- he is building a hierarchy in this organisation (when I talk about hierarchy, there is a structural hierarchy and cultural hierarchy, here I am implying a structural hierarchy)
- he said the culture of being free and responsible shall not be changed.
So tit looks like to deal with this new boss is my best alternative at the moment. (many people suggest me to run; well I really like my colleagues and CEO and my work, also in the industry we are maybe not the best but one of the most unique company that has a great potential, to run from a company like this with a permanent contact after 6 months might hurt my career, again it reminds me to be prepared in any case, thanks for you all) much appreciation:)
- Update 2
Delegation is one of the management tasks I think he at least fulfills so far. He got a task from the CEO and forwarded to me: "please have a look at this and think about how to do it."
- Update 3
From a few colleagues' (from other departments who had a meeting with me) feedback, they all think he is tough and 'not in the context'. However, I don't know how much he put into work so far. The weird thing is that I sit behind him (my CEO placed the seat), 3 out of 5 times I have a glance at his screen he is either logged in to his bank, on a trading website, or on a local financial website checking stock news... - OK, I am really demotivated at work. I probably have to reposition myself.
- Update 4
Dear all, thanks for those who still look at this post, this guys is going on holiday next week. And I had a feeling that he was about to talk to me (probably about forwarding task to me which i used to do independently). So I just proposed a meeting to him for tomorrow. Besides, we are a company with advanced scientific stuff, I had a feeling that he does not spent enough time in reading publications and articles in order to get more understanding. He just gave away the paper today to an engineer and asked her to give him a summary. We both received the article, i finished reading(even it was hard) and he delegated. I still (really a bad stomach feeling) have not find anything in him that i can look up to. I respect people who might not be that knowledgeable, but hard working is also something I respect, where is it in this guy? well. I am gonna talk to him tomorrow, ... I take this challenge. See you guys later.
- Update 5
Thanks to all your suggestion. I think I am on my way to 'management upwards'. I posted a meeting for us today. I prepared well a list of topics, divided in two parts: working task and working style. I first stressed that I would like to have things work and want to find the need of both of us in each others job and get the best result of it. I have proposed my working scope and I think we have an agreement now. Besides, I said a lot about what kind of management style I best respond to and I believe he heard it. He also told me what he wanted and his goal in this job is. As a first very formal meeting between us, I am satisfied so far. lets see what happens later - and update you all. Thanks for all your guys help.
OK, a very stupid thing of me happened, I had the page of 'how to manager your boss' open when he passed by my table (after the meeting)... I wonder whether he saw it and so on...
- Update 6
People are returning from the holidays. So now I have to figure out a way to work with this person. He is once again trying to define what I have to do and what I should not and get things in his control, however I said no so some of the decisions(such as he suggested that we both shall exit my self from the company R&D meetings) later other managers told me I shall participate in it...so.... My principle is
- try to be helpful
- protect my own rights and territory
- Avoid free riding
(if any of you audience has a better suggestion, please let me know).
- Update 7 ALL IN.
Dear friends, thanks for being patient. Here comes an update. - I was working an excessive amount of time for the past half year. No extra remuneration or over time pay. On one hand I have to deal with this manager's pointless tasks. On the other hand I have made my own agenda and priorities of what is the best for our company and achievement in my to do list. I was lucky too. I sealed a deal for USDM19.5 – that's quite a bit for a danish SME. All cash in + A Joint venture sponsored by the two investors both in capital and Human resources. My CEO told me that I do not have to listen to that manager anymore. I report directly to CEO now. I got a new title 'xxx executive' plus handsome pay raise.
After all I might want to thank that middle manager. I have learned a lot about myself in this process.
- Set out your boundaries and let people know.
- Work with good ethics and stick on your principle.
- Be soft to people and hard on principle.