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Lead Your Boss: The Subtle Art of Managing Up

1 rating: 5.0
A book by John Baldoni

"..useful advice…offers encouragement and inspiration. The book breaks its lessons down into simple steps." -- Harvard Business Review       "...concrete advice for those who find themselves working in the … see full wiki

Author: John Baldoni
Genre: Business
Publisher: AMACOM
1 review about Lead Your Boss: The Subtle Art of Managing...

How to manage up, down, and all around with high-impact

  • Jul 24, 2010
Don't be misled by the title of this book. The information and counsel that John Baldoni provides will help almost anyone (at whatever level) in almost any organization (whatever its size and nature) to achieve several critically important objectives in relationships with associates, including direct reports as well as with those to whom you report. Specifically, how to

1. Continuously improve your performance
2. Engage others who can assist your efforts
3. Help them to improve their own performance
4. Improve communication, cooperation, and collaboration with others
5. Over time, make whatever adjustments required by new circumstances

For Baldoni, to lead is to take the initiative in relationships with others. Where to begin? Consider these action steps he recommends at the conclusion of the first chapter:

o Establish trust be following through on all commitments
o Make yourself available to help others
o Share credit with others
o Be proactive re solving problems
o Demonstrate common sense (e.g. be realistic and practical)

To these, I presume to add two other suggestions: Volunteer for difficult or unpleasant tasks but only if you can complete them satisfactorily, and, congratulate others on a job well-done.

Credibility is the coin of the realm in a workplace: Baldoni brilliantly explains how to establish and then sustain others' confidence in you, not only in your talents and skills but also in your character. It is imperative for associates, indeed for everyone with whom you interact (including customers) to know that they can count on you.

Throughout his lively narrative, Baldoni cites dozens of real-world examples to demonstrate his key points. He also makes effective use of reader-friendly devices such as summary checklists of key points at the end of each chapter and lists of questions needed to complete a self-audit (e.g. after a setback). He also offers some excellent advice on how to lead with presence. More specifically, how to earn trust, radiate confidence as well as optimism, exude calmness during a crisis, demonstrate emotional intelligence (e.g. passion and compassion), show/express appreciation of others, and lead by example.

Again, it is important to keep in mind that insofar as Baldoni is concerned, a leader can be anyone, not necessarily a "boss"; also, an aspiring leader must be authentic in the sense that she or he (in Bill George's words) follows True North, "the internal compass that guides you as a human being at your deepest level. It is your orienting point - your fixed point in a spinning world - that helps you stay on track as a leader. Your True North is based on what is most important to you, your most cherished values, your passions and motivations, the sources of satisfaction in your life. Just as a compass points toward a magnetic field, your True North pulls you toward the purpose of your leadership."

I highly recommend this book to those in urgent need of practical advice on how to manage themselves, "lead" themselves, more effectively so that they can then be of service to others within and beyond their workplace, wherever they may be located in an organizational hierarchy. Credit John Baldoni with a brilliant achievement.

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