When it comes to organizations, success and failure are hereditary. There are caveats, but it is in your best interest to take care of the chain of command above you. Managing up is as important as being a trusted leader for your direct reports.
These are a few ideas that you can incorporate today.
It is all about what they care the most.
What does your boss want and need? What lenses does he/she use to evaluate work? Identify that focus and tap it. Make sure to present your work and achievements with what matter the most.
It is tempting to focus on your own problems but finding how you can solve your boss’s problems is key. Find what can you take off their plate so they can focus do more of what they value.
Nobody likes surprises.
Better be the one that over-communicates that the one that drops the bomb. It may feel like you are bugging others with constant, timely communication, and that is ok. By offering a constant stream of updates, you are letting your boss decide what to do with it. You are giving a choice to either act or sit on it.
Hail Mary plays are for football. At the first sign of risk be upfront and communicate without filters. Anything left unmanaged will most likely escalate. Bring up to speed your boss and other stakeholders early!
Listen and pay attention to all feedback, even when it is not verbal. Pay special attention to constructive criticism. Always assume good intentions and not a personal attack. Try to understand what your manager is struggling with. Understand what they want you do different and take steps adjust as possible.
When feedback is positive there is only one appropriate response: “Thank you”. Let them deliver the praise, do not interrupt, contradict, or minimize their feedback.