RIVAEngage initially started in March 2020 as a way to remain connected in a new all-virtual world. Almost two years later, RIVAEngage remains a staple bi-monthly virtual meeting which continues to unite RIVA employees across the nation. RIVAEngage gives internal project teams, programs, and departments the opportunity to showcase their accomplishments and provides a forum to hold large group employee training and professional development opportunities.
This month RIVAEngage is proud to host Rachel Pacheco author of Bringing Up the Boss. On October 1st Rachel will be hosting a book talk on her latest publication Bringing Up the Boss. Ten lucky participants will walk away with a copy of Bringing Up the Boss to continue their learning experience.
Read on to get a sneak peek into some of the topics that will be discussed at the next RIVAEngage!
What inspired you to write Bringing up the Boss?
About six years ago, I joined a small and quickly growing startup as the chief people officer. Immediately upon joining I noticed that our manager level was really struggling. Employees had been promoted to manager early in their career before they had the skills, time or role models to know what it meant to be good at managing. Given that we were time and cash-strapped and couldn’t send our managers off to trainings, I set off to find a book that could help these new managers quickly develop some of the skills they needed to succeed. I found two primary issues with the books on management:
Management books were not of our time. They were written twenty years ago and didn’t take into account the context of the workplace and context of the society we are living in today. We’re grappling with remote work, changing workplaces, and an important focus on diversity, equity and inclusion in a way we weren’t 20 years ago. They didn’t speak to the unique challenges of working in a small organization and what happens when you’re learning to manage while a company is growing and changing so quickly
Second, the seminal management books go deep in a key area, like getting excellent at giving feedback, or motivation, or hiring well. I needed a book that covered a range of management topics that also had tools and exercises so that the team could immediately start implementing them in their day-to-day.
I couldn’t find the perfect book so, I started sending a weekly email to the whole organization that offered management guidance in an accessible and immediately useable way. When I learned that folks were forwarding these emails to friends at other organizations, that weekly email turned into a blog, and the blog turned into what’s now, Bringing Up the Boss.
What is the biggest lesson you learned while writing this book?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned while writing this book is that even the most experienced employees struggle with how to be a great manager. I recently was having a conversation with a friend who works at a big tech company – a company that you’ve probably used in the last hour. She’s 18 years into her career, went to business school, and is now starting to manage someone. And she’s struggling. She’s in this vulnerable and self-conscious position with seeking out help and support to manage well, because it’s assumed that after almost 20 years of work, and as an expert in her field, she should know how to manage.
In writing this book, I learned that we have a real myth or narrative that just because you’re far along in your career or have significant expertise, you should know how to manage. No one came out of the womb knowing how to code. Similarly, just because you’ve been working for 15 years, doesn’t mean you should automatically know what it takes to be a great manager and how to build those skills.
Who would benefit from reading Bringing up the Boss?
Folks who want to up their management game – whether they’re in the nonprofit world, startups or established organizations, as well as leaders of organizations who are working to build exceptional teams and thriving cultures.
What is the main lesson(s) you want readers to take away from the book?
Management is a set of skills that you can start building from day 1 of your very first job, years before you ever have a direct report. Similarly, leaders can help create a culture of management in their organizations where strong management capabilities are celebrated and rewarded, and are being put into practice every day.
Can you share something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
My favorite chapter in the book is probably the last one. It’s about managing yourself and keeping a healthy perspective of your role as a manager, and your role in the organization. As managers, we put so much pressure on ourselves to do things right, to be right, and to exude confidence to our team members. I try to dispel that notion by sharing that we’re going to mess up a lot as managers, it’s an emotionally draining job, and that being vulnerable with your team members is far more important than having all of the answers.