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Leading Up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win Paperback – March 25, 2003
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
—Arthur Martinez, former chief executive officer of Sears, Roebuck & Co.
“Teaching your boss is the most important thing that anyone in business, government, or the nonprofit world needs to know. Leading Up is a must-read for everyone.”
—Leonard A. Lauder, chairman, the Estée Lauder Companies, Inc.
“Professor Michael Useem has shown himself a master in the use of vignettes to teach us about leadership. In his latest book, Leading Up, he has again used reality, this time to discuss ‘those who would dare to lead their leaders.’ In today’s fast-moving and often chaotic world, this book is a must-read. It will help you help your boss be the best he can be and in doing so, build a better organization and increase your value to that organization.”
—General Charles C. Krulak, former commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and senior vice chairman, MBNA Corporation
“Leadership is not just about telling people what to do. It is about building a common purpose—a goal—that everyone on the team works hard to achieve. To do that, leaders must understand that it is not just about them and their goals. It is about creating a group where voices are heard and help offered is help received. Leading Up shows how great leaders create groups that win.”
—Joel Kurtzman, Global Lead Partner, Thought Leadership, PricewaterhouseCoopers
“The message afforded by Leading Up is powerful and germane as we continue to decentralize and empower our organizations. As Mike Useem says, ‘If we expect our subordinates to furnish us with unvarnished, unbiased advice and unswerving support at times when it really counts, we need to have cultivated a culture that encourages and rewards them to do so.’ His diverse selection of historical examples and his storytelling ability bring the concepts alive.”
—Charles O. Holliday, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, DuPont
From the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
X Keep your superiors well informed of what you have done, what you are doing and what you plan to do.
X Persuade your boss of a new course with a path that is right, a rationale that is airtight, and a determination that is steadfast.
X Step up to a moment when you can make the difference even if your superiors fail to see it and the risks are grave in seizing it.Read more ›
Michael Useem, the author of Leading Up, is professor of management and the director of the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His writing style uses detailed cases from military history, politics, business and even stories of Biblical figures to emphasize the need to lead up. I found some of the stories a bit long and detailed, going beyond what some readers might desire in order to grasp the point being made. However, if you enjoy this presentation style, the cases are well written and provide fascinating insights into actual historical events.
Professor Useem says that business has often looked to the military model for lessons in leadership "because of the seemingly impervious top-down authority system." Using actual military stories, the author demonstrates that the military model can also offer invaluable lessons that are just the opposite. Encouraging your subordinates to say what is positive or negative about a plan before you impose an order can often avoid costly errors, or even save lives. Creating a culture that stimulates and rewards upward leadership is critical in today's complex environment where no single individual can possibly have all the answers. Useem says, "The military might appear to be the last place on earth where upward leadership is tolerated, but in fact such leadership is obligatory." Encouraging upward challenges can keep a leader on course regarding adherence to principles.Read more ›
Leading up is "...not the same as 'managing' up...The distinction is between 'running' the office and adding 'value' to it, between 'discharging' our responsibilities and 'exceeding' them...Nor is leading up a call for undermining authority or seizing power. It is about the effective exercise of power for the greater good...The challenge is to help both those below us and those above us achieve what we all want accomplished...."
Useem did an excellent job presenting and analyzing a series of historical leading up vignettes and their consequences. His study offered what might be considered five leading up principles: 1) Keeping your senior(s) well informed; 2) Getting your senior's attention on what he/she needs to see, and moving him/her along a course of action before it is too late; 3) Building the confidence of your seniors in you; 4) Working well with several bosses; and 5) Asking your boss the difficult but critical questions.
I also liked how Useem repeatedly reinforced that there is an obligation to lead up, and how the symbiotic responsibility for leading up rests with both seniors and subordinates. "The fates of our superiors often depend on our actions, just as our own fates depend on the actions of those below us...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While the history lesson about the US Civil War was interesting, the book over-uses these examples at the expense of the leadership analysis and insights.Published on March 14, 2014 by SteveH
I found the book straight forward and an easy, quick read. The author provided a clear path for forging effective relationships with people above you.Published on December 15, 2013 by NINA JEAN THURSTON
The use of extended case-studies is a common approach in leadership literature, but in my opinion, not the most effective. Read morePublished on August 9, 2013 by Allen Hamlin
Get a great action and adventure stories while learning the underlying leadership principles inherent in it. More instructional books should adopt this anecdotal approach.Published on March 12, 2013 by Johnny Boy
This is one of the most effective leadership books I have read. It is believable and pragmatic. The points are well backed up with substantial anecdotes. Read morePublished on April 16, 2010 by Mark C. Davis
Michael Useem makes a compelling case for when and how "followers" ought to lead their bosses. Since roughly 70% of organizational leaders report to higher-ups, Useem's book isn't... Read morePublished on December 10, 2009 by Gary B. Cohen
If you ran a Google search on leadership, you would find 167 million hits. These include books, courses, consultants and companies that teach leaders and would-be leaders how to... Read morePublished on September 21, 2007 by Frank Settineri