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Where do you spend the majority of your time and effort?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 160,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each Tuesday in our e-newsletter.

Last week, we asked: Where do you spend the majority of your time and effort?

  • Managing up (bosses, customers, senior stakeholders): 39.32%
  • Managing across (peers, partners, stakeholders): 34.76%
  • Managing down (team members, suppliers): 25.92%

It’s interesting we spend more time managing up than we do managing our teams. That can be good and bad. If you’re managing up to get resources for your team and to advocate for the work they’re doing by removing roadblocks, then bully for you. If you’re managing up because bosses, stakeholders and other senior executives are micromanaging, you must realize that those efforts are stealing your energy away from the people who could really use it — your team members. If possible, spend less time managing up and invest that time in your team. They’ll appreciate your doing so.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of ThoughtLeaders and author of “One Piece of Paper.”