Ways and Means for Managing Up: 50 Strategies for Helping You and Your Boss Succeed

Book description


Today's typical workplace may be less formal and more inclusive than those of the past, but one thing hasn't changed: The boss is the boss.

A veteran of the U.S. Army, William Smullen spent 50 years leading--and being led by--some of the toughest people in the business. Over his career, he served at every level from platoon to division--and at the highest levels in the Pentagon, as well. In business terms, that's the equivalent of running a very small business to sitting in a corporate C-Suite.

Smullen's final public-service assignment was chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell. As chief of staff, one of his main responsibilities was to ensure Secretary Powell kept his positive image and was successful in everything he did.

Now, he shares the lessons he learned working in some of the world’s most demanding organizations. In Ways and Means for Managing Up, he tells you everything you need to know to effectively "manage your manager" in ways that help both you and your boss succeed and rise within your company. In 50 short yet informative chapters, Smullen shares his hard-won insight, such as:

  • View your relationship with your boss as a partnership
  • Think of your boss as a brand
  • Never allow your boss to be surprised
  • Help your boss manage risk or crisis
  • Be a strategic asset your boss counts on

Whether you're good friends with your manager or have trouble coexisting in the same office, your success depends on his or her success. This has always been true, and it will always be true.

You serve yourself well when you serve your boss well. Take your career to new heights by learning and applying the Ways and Means for Managing Up. It can serve as a survival guide, a road map, or a blueprint for people at every level in an organization.


A terrific book by one of the masters of truth-telling in the American military--wise, forceful, and a must-read for anyone who has a boss. My hat is off to Bill Smullen, and yours will be too when you read what he has learned over the decades." -- BOB WOODWARD, Associate Editor, The Washington Post

"Bill Smullen's unique experience as a member of the U.S. Army and as chief of staff for former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretary of State Colin Powell gives him some great lessons to pass on. I highly recommend Ways and Means for Managing Up. -- JIM BOEHEIM, Syracuse University’s Hall of Fame Head Basketball Coach

"Colonel Smullen has worked for some of the smartest and most demanding bosses in modern American history, most notably General Colin Powell, for many years. In this book Smullen offers an invaluable guide for how to succeed inside any organization. It is a guide that is both tremendously wise and, in some places, laugh-out-loud funny." -- PETER BERGEN, CNN's National Security Analyst and the author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad

Table of contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Preface
  6. Introduction
  7. 1 Believe in Your Boss or Find Another
  8. 2 Be Forever Loyal and Faithful to the Boss
  9. 3 Think of Your Boss as a Brand
  10. 4 Know More Than Is Expected
  11. 5 Anticipate What the Boss Wants or Needs
  12. 6 It’s About the Boss; It’s Not About You
  13. 7 Treat Every Day as Game Day
  14. 8 Manage the Calendar and the Clock
  15. 9 Never Wear Your Boss’s Rank or Position
  16. 10 Never Allow Your Boss to Be Surprised
  17. 11 Never Sign the Boss’s Signature
  18. 12 Get a Seat at the Table
  19. 13 Pace Yourself and Your Boss
  20. 14 Provide the Boss Some Quiet Time Each Workday
  21. 15 Send the Boss on That Needed Vacation
  22. 16 Keep the Boss’s Better Half Informed and Involved
  23. 17 Accompany the Boss on Business Travel
  24. 18 Protect the Boss from the Adoring
  25. 19 Anticipate the Boss’s Thinking and Decisions
  26. 20 Think Beyond the Horizon
  27. 21 Build and Maintain the Boss’s Credibility
  28. 22 Be a Gatekeeper, Not a Gate Blocker
  29. 23 Don’t Speak for the Boss Unless He Asks or Knows
  30. 24 Push the Boss out in Public When There Is a Purpose
  31. 25 Prepare the Boss for Each Event or Activity
  32. 26 Resolve Conflict for the Boss
  33. 27 Help Manage Risk
  34. 28 Prepare Now for Crisis
  35. 29 Be a Strategic Asset
  36. 30 Don’t Hesitate to Tell the Boss He or She Is Wrong
  37. 31 If at First Your Opinion Doesn’t Succeed, Try, Try Again
  38. 32 Expect the Unexpected
  39. 33 Inspire the Right Work Ethic
  40. 34 Reflect a Front Office That Is Cheerful
  41. 35 Impress Early and Often
  42. 36 Keep Meetings to 30 Minutes or Less
  43. 37 Provide the Boss Some Cover
  44. 38 Assume Someone’s Always Watching
  45. 39 Life Is Not a Spectator Sport
  46. 40 Keep the Staff Informed About Requirements and Decisions
  47. 41 Help Disallow Threatening Behavior
  48. 42 Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Risk
  49. 43 Build and Maintain Relationships
  50. 44 Every Problem Needs a Solution
  51. 45 Build a Comfort Zone for the Boss
  52. 46 It’s the Deed, Not the Credit
  53. 47 Be a Conscience for Your Boss
  54. 48 Bullying Is Bad for Business
  55. 49 Have Fun Along the Way
  56. 50 Evaluate Everything You Do
  57. Acknowledgments
  58. Index
  59. About the Author

Product information

  • Title: Ways and Means for Managing Up: 50 Strategies for Helping You and Your Boss Succeed
  • Author(s): F. William Smullen
  • Release date: April 2014
  • Publisher(s): McGraw-Hill
  • ISBN: 9780071826525