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Managing to Make a Difference by Larry Sternberg

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Chapter 11Cultivate a Great Relationship with Your Boss

Though the lessons and experiments we have shared in this section have focused on how to cultivate great relationships with the people you manage, most of them can apply to any relationship, even your relationship with your boss. Because managing up is a very important part of almost everyone's life, it is important to devote some time to the question, “How do I cultivate a great relationship with my boss?”

Larry's best friend, the late Pat Mene, was a top performer, whose expertise and leadership won two Malcolm Baldridge Awards for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Pat was a great manager in his own right, and based on some of the “managing up” he experienced, he created a list of the top-10 ass-kissing lines of all time. Number one on the list: “Boss, now I know how the disciples must have felt!” Ass kissing is a time-honored approach to managing up, but we do not recommend it. We do not recommend self-promotion or manipulation. We recommend investing in the relationship, and we will share some specific suggestions with you here. To get us started, here is a story from Kim:

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