John Maxwell shares an excellent leadership article related on how to influence your own manager or other executives who rank above you.  These recommendations or actions must be evaluated, timed, and acted upon carefully.

When your character is solid and your work is likewise, then you have a great foundation for “leading your leader” effectively. But the biggest struggle for most people when it comes to leading up is timing. Knowing when to push and when to pause is a big part of leading your leader well.

1. When to Push Forward — There will be times when it is necessary to approach your boss and push forward. It’s not uncommon to discover that you have information that your boss needs to know but doesn’t. Believe it or not, the view doesn’t necessarily get clearer the higher you go on the corporate ladder.

2. When to Press Pause — Leadership isn’t always about pushing forward; many times, it’s necessary to press pause. When you’re learning to lead up, think of yourself as an organizational meteorologist; you need to become skilled at reading the atmosphere of the office

Leading up can seem like a big challenge, but it is possible. By examining yourself, your boss, and the timing, you can often discover a way to make a positive influence. Every organization needs people who are willing to use their influence and lead up when necessary. No leader, at any level, wants to be the poor soul who opens the door to face a monster – especially when someone could have warned them about what was on the other side! Don’t be afraid to speak up and speak out when necessary. Just make sure you’ve taken the time to assess whether you need to push forward or press pause.