Managing Up, Managing Laterally, and Managing to Not Lose It

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Hey Boss Girls,

Thanks for joining episode 3 of our Productivity Mini Series, Teamwork Makes The (Productivity) Dream Work! The goal of this 8-part series is to provide you with all of the tools you need to boost your productivity and reduce unnecessary stress.


First, a recap.

A lot of the things we’ve been talking about in this series (and even in #SNBB) are longer-term solutions to work productively and reach your career goals. It’s great to prioritize, but how realistic is it to stick to your prioritized list when you’re just entering the workplace and are the lowest lady on the totem pole? Probably not super realistic. It’s great to aspire to managing your own time, managing others’ time, only concentrating on work that plays to your strengths, etc. but you don’t get there overnight.

In the meantime, while we’re working our way up the corporate ladder or saving money to start our own businesses, we can employ the concepts of managing up and managing laterally to propel our careers and assert some level of control over our own lives.

Managing Up

Managing-up is the act of managing your manager. Understand their goals & responsibilities, and leverage them in the best way possible. Be two steps ahead of their next move, and track both their tasks and yours. That way, you’re both an EXTREMELY valuable employee and you’re learning how your manager does his or her job…. because one day soon they’ll get promoted and someone will have to fill their shoes. Why not you?

Managing Laterally

Managing laterally is a little bit different. It’s more an exercise in utilizing your teammates to the fullest than managing their workload. What do I mean by that? I think its easiest to explain by example.

If you’re a digital marketing assistant and you have a copywriter on staff, delegate the instagram caption writing to the copywriter so that you can focus on hashtag management. Hold your copywriter accountable to doing his/her job, which will free you up to do your job better. Use your team to the fullest – that’s lateral management.

Enter: The Tools

So now that we know what these things mean, what tool can we employ?

For most teams, work is doled out and prioritized in the Monday Morning Meeting. Most employees are passive participants in that meeting – but you’re not going to be. You’re going to be an active participant.

Follow these simple steps to take ownership of your Monday Morning Meeting and, eventually, your career.

  1. Download the Monday Morning Meeting Maker tool.
  2. Take 5-10 minutes on Sunday night to write down your major tasks for the week and how much time they’ll take you. When thinking about how much time they’ll take you, remember that you’re going to manage laterally this week and delegate any tasks that aren’t yours.
  3. Not totally clear on what your responsibilities are vs. others? Spend some time Responsibility Mapping first. On this Pretty Smart Responsibility Map there’s a spot to map out your leverage structure.
  4. Once completed, you’ll know how much time you have left for managing-up! Make sure you understand the goals of all of the people above you, and find a way to take something off their plate with the extra time you have. Because you’ve mapped out your own time, you’ll know just how much you can do without over-extending.

It’s that simple! Give it a whirl, and let me know how it goes when you tune into next week’s live stream of the Pretty Smart Productivity Mini Series.



Samantha Citro

Samantha is a tri-state area native with a diverse background in sales, marketing & general management. After studying acting (and dabbling in web design) at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Samantha “fell” into a job in the Beauty Industry that has ultimately become a promising young career.

Samantha worked her way up at Indie brand JUARA skincare from in-store Brand Ambassador to U.S. Sales & Marketing Assoc. Manager in three short years. In her varied roles, she gained valuable insight into the customer experience both in store and digitally (what drives a person to pull out their wallet at checkout) ultimately acquiring 70% of JUARA’s new accounts over a 2 year period, jointly overseeing education, merchandising, inventory management, and field support management with the VP of Brand Strategy; and fully operating and overseeing JUARA’s digital division (adding multiple CRM platforms, effective email drip campaigns, a social-heavy digital marketing strategy, and frame-working a new website).

Continuing on a parallel track to the ordinary, Samantha decided to structure her own “intensive MBA” through a management program at Bridgewater Associates. While at Bridgewater, Samantha served as Chief of Staff for the Research Analytics Department, absorbing the best parts of the unique Bridgewater management style of Radical Truth & Transparency. In more of a generalist position, Samantha joined department leadership in an ongoing effort to improve efficiency and reduce waste through goal setting, project management, and effective delegation.

Samantha joined Lucas Brand Equity in January 2017 to serve as Director of Marketing & Operations for portfolio company Immunocologie and to add operational insight to the LBE team. In August, she was promoted to Vice President of Immunocologie. She’s thrilled to be back in a role where she wears many hats, overseeing Immunocologie’s sales, marketing and operations in a day to day management capacity, along with assisting on Lucas Brand Equity initiatives where her skill set is needed.

“Sales is acting. Marketing is understanding why people pull out their wallets. Operations is a constant effort to reduce waste. Excellent Management is understanding who your people are, what makes them tick, and how to push those buttons to drive them to succeed. My path may not have been traditional, but I don’t see the world in a traditional way. That’s what I bring to the table.”

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