How should Thomas manage his boss?

how should thomas manage his boss
How should Thomas manage his boss?


Thomas was a young manager in the strategy department of a Chennai-based multi-business firm Unimax. The strategy team was working on a response to a consultation paper by an industry regulator. Unimax was a leading player in that industry and their position paper was expected to influence the proposed changes to their national policy.

Thomas had been working on the response; it was pretty straightforward but there was one vexing matter related to license conditions. On that question, Thomas suggested changes that would benefit all the industry players, particularly recent and new entrants. And since Unimax was one of the two incumbents, this change would not have any impact.

The Problem

However, the Strategy Head, Ramesh had a different view. He wanted to frame the license condition in such a way that it would disadvantage new players and provide additional incentives to the incumbents. “Why would we push for a level playing field”, he argued.

Thomas thought that it would be unfair to suggest a one-sided view. And he had a feeling that the company CEO would support his perspective.

That evening, Ramesh told Thomas to rework the license proposal slide before the final review with the CEO.

As Thomas, if your boss had rejected your initial proposal, what would you present during the CEO meeting tomorrow? Would you change the slides as required by your boss, or would you take a chance and present the original idea to the CEO?

Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

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  1. Even though we would prefer taking a step and presenting your point to the CEO, there always exists a fear of backfiring of our move and we eventually might end up making changes to the presentation. But maybe when I get a chance to present to the CEO I might address my idea highlighting the unbiased thought behind it. As, not changing the contents of the presentation as instructed by the senior possesses a risk and it would turn into a greater risk, if the CEO does not approve of it as well. It depends on the CEO’s perspective of work.

  2. As the Strategy head, the boss would have a better understanding of company’s plans for the future and how the change in licensing policy would impact the company’s over all performance in terms of new competition. He must be aligned with the CEO future plan for the company being the strategy head. So as advised, i would make the changes in the proposal for presenting to the CEO. I would verbally highlight the impact/disadvantage of the proposal on new / emerging players during the presentation and let CEO decide how to proceed on the same

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