My mother first taught me about managing up. That isn’t what she called it, of course, but when I got my first job, she’d tell me stories about her career. She'd share how she went from working in the basement at her company to getting promoted to a number of different roles, and the little things she did to get there. She'd regularly give me suggestions on how to be great at work, and how to get the most done with (or in spite of) whatever boss I had.
While I was out running errands this Halloween weekend, I noticed a sign in a store window. The sign asked patrons not to come into the store with their Halloween masks on or costume weapons in hand, out of concern for the safety of its other patrons. Since I didn’t have a costume on, and still hadn’t decided on one, this sign didn’t phase me.
However, long after I left, I began to think about it. I wasn’t thinking about the literal message of the sign, but rather about the idea of taking off our masks when we show up places, especially when it relates to our careers.