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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leading Indeed,
By A Customer
This review is from: Leading up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win (Hardcover)This is a marvelous book. The eight gripping stories of real men and women in business, government, and the military have constituted formidable lessons in working effectively with superiors. This book has given clear benefit for me in learning invaluable lessons in my organisation by challenging autority the right way, at the right time.
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Lead your Boss,
This review is from: Leading Up (Paperback)An excellent book on how to lead your boss so that both of you can succeed. Through 10 exceptional and diverse stories, Mr. Useem showed how to accomplish this vital task. To lead up successfully requires initiative, persuasion, influence, persistence and a dose of humility. From military lessons from the American civil war, to the Rwandan genocide where failure to convince superiors left over 800,000 dead, to boardroom ousters of CEO's of Compaq, British Airways and CBS, there are enough lessons to guide any leader on how to lead up.
Some of the major lessons I learnt from this highly enjoyable book include:
I. Share your vision.
II. Keep your superiors fully informed of what you are doing, what you plan to do and what you have done.
III. Learn how to persuade your boss of a new course with facts, airtight logic and determination. The failure of UN Commander Romeo Dallaire to convince his superiors led to the worst genocide since the Second World War.
IV. Even when you are the CEO, remember you are answerable to the board and never surprise any of them. The CEOs of BA, Compaq and CBS fell short and paid the price with their jobs.
V. When you have several bosses, serve each as if he were your only boss but let all know what you are recommending to each.
VI. Step up if the boss's leadership is faltering.
VII. Convey intents downward and interests upward.
VIII. Instead of just motivating those below, you must muster those above; instead of learning from those above you must also listen to those below.
IX. Develop your subordinates.
X. Above all set a positive example.
To lead up successfully also requires you ask and answer the following questions:
* What does my boss need to do his job better?
* What does my team need?
* What do I need to do to help my boss and team succeed?
The carefully selected stories with vivid real life actions and outcomes made the book quite interesting. It is certainly worth a read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Leading up,
This review is from: Leading Up (Paperback)I bought this book upon recomendation.
The author uses examples from history to show how people can influence behaviours and outcomes by leading upwards.
The examples are populated with wise words on how to apply the behaviours and process into every day reality
I wanted to learn how to influence my bosses to listen to my experience and recomendations with credibility.
This book has helped me in spades- recomended for anyone with career asperations and ultimatley making you and your boss both winners
5.0 out of 5 stars The "ups" and "downs" of effective leadership,
This review is from: Leading Up (Paperback)I read this book soon after it first appeared (in 2001) and recently re-read it, curious to know how well its core concepts and insights have held up. My conclusion? Very, very well. At the outset, for those who have not as yet read Michael Useem's brilliant book, it would be helpful to understand what he means by "leading up." As he explains, "Leadership has always required more than a downward touch: It needs to come from below as well as from the top, and leaders today must reach up as never before. As organizations decentralize authority, they put a premium on a manager's capacity to must support above as well as below...The challenge is to help both those below us and those above achieve what we all want accomplished. If we expect our subordinates to furnish us with unvarnished information, unbiased advice, and unswerving support at the times when it really counts, we need to have cultivated a culture that encourages and rewards them for doing so."
Thus there are two separate but related leadership challenges: To create a culture in which both "leading up" and "leading down" are among the most important core competencies, and, to do everything humanly possible to develop those skills in those at all levels and in all areas of the given enterprise. In this book, Useem explains with meticulous care how to achieve both objectives. At this point, I presume to share two opinions of my own with which Useem presumably agrees. First, that mutual trust is the "glue" that holds all organizations together. Healthy relationships are nourished and sustained by it. Also, that both "leading up" and "leading down" must be among the core competencies of greatest importance and highest priority. Everything humanly possible must be done to develop the skills they require to generate and sustain a continuous flow of "unvarnished information, unbiased advice, and unswerving support at the times when it really counts."
In this volume, Useem focuses on eight quite different real world situations to demonstrate what the consequences can be when there is a presence or absence of "leading up" and "leading down." For example, in Chapter 1, he explains how General Robert E. Lee kept his Commander in Chief (Jefferson Davis) fully informed whereas General George B. McClellan did not. In fact, McClelland scorned President Lincoln as "not a man of strong character." At the same time, General Joseph E. Johnston viewed his own Commander in Chief, Davis, with equal scorn and was eventually replaced, as was McClelland. As Useem suggests, the "leading up" business lesson to be learned is that "the vital bond between commander and commander in chief, between manager and executive, is an enduring and enriched relationship. For that, an open flow of information and an open display of respect are essential." Lee and Ulysses S. Grant exemplify that; Johnston and McClelland do not.
In Chapter 7, "Designing a Future Your Boss Can't Quite Envision," Useem explains how Charlene Barshefsky negotiated the U.S. trade agreement with China on behalf of president, Bill Clinton, and how Domingo Cavallo stabilized the Argentine currency on behalf his president, Carlos Menem. Obviously, these are quite different situations in terms of ultimate goals as well as perils as well as opportunities. Each situation required different strategies and tactics. However, there is a "leading up" business lesson to be learned from both: "Building the lateral backing that your superiors need to implement a contentious but otherwise sensible initiative is an essential precondition for ultimately making it happen. The indispensable elements for success: a judicious combination of compelling concepts, detailed prescriptions, and retail persuasion."
If anything, this book is even more relevant and more valuable now than it was when first published several years ago. Thank you, Michael Useem.
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixture of good ideas & some poor examples,
This review is from: Leading up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win (Hardcover)Not all of the chapters are as good as some, but some of the chapters are outstanding.
I particularly liked the chapters on Keeping the Boss Informed and Retaining the Confidence of Your Boss. Very important lessons for all.
And the need for Courage : courage to be corrected, courage to take over, and courage to buck the system. Without those attributes, even the best communication counts for very little.
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Leading Up by Michael Useem (Paperback - 25 Mar 2003)
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