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Does the boss really need copies of ALL those emails?

As you go up the corporate ladder, the number of email messages received seems to increase exponentially.

While its understandable that the air becomes more rare, and there are fewer people in each hierarchical level, we have to question whether some of these emails going to the boss are truly valuable to him or her. Of course, the boss needs to know what's going on in the organization. Of course he or she needs to be briefed on problems and their resolution. But are individual emails the best way?

With senior level execs getting 150-200 e-messages a day, do you really believe that all of them will be read thoroughly? Do you believe that by merely sending a copy of that message, he or she will "get" what's going on? Or - let's get real now - are you covertly trying to get in good with the boss? Or even worse, are you delegating upward?

Here are a few thoughts...

If you're trying to keep that great boss informed by simply adding him or her as a copy, consider alternatives. How about a daily digest? How about an executive summary? Or how about forwarding your sent mail with a quick summary at the top?

If you're trying to get on the boss's good side, think again. You might be seen as a pest, a brown-noser, or suckup. At minimum, be cautious about becoming a nuisance. The more emails you copy to the boss, the fewer will be read. Kinda like the boy who cried wolf.

And if you're copying the boss as a way of abdicating responsibility, stop. Bosses want people to to be accountable, to take responsibility. Your including them as a cc doesn't delegate to them - at best, it annoys them.

And if you're not sure what the boss wants or needs, here's a novel approach - ASK!!!

Time is precious. Involve the higher ups in the most efficient effective way. If you are considerate of their time, it'll circle back to you.

What ideas do you have about this challenge?