Managing Up: How to Forge an Effective Relationship with Those above You

Managing Up: How to Forge an Effective Relationship with Those above You

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by Rosanne Badowski

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Everyone has a boss. And anyone who has aspired to move up the corporate ladder knows that their relationship with those they report to is crucial. In Managing Up Rosanne Badowski offers a straightforward, entertaining, no-holds-barred account of what it takes to make your relationship with your boss work to your advantage, no matter where you stand in the…  See more details below


Everyone has a boss. And anyone who has aspired to move up the corporate ladder knows that their relationship with those they report to is crucial. In Managing Up Rosanne Badowski offers a straightforward, entertaining, no-holds-barred account of what it takes to make your relationship with your boss work to your advantage, no matter where you stand in the corporate hierarchy.

Told through rich, colorful anecdotes about her years spent working with one of the smartest, most demanding and dynamic business leaders of the twentieth century, legendary GE CEO Jack Welch, Badowski reveals the secrets to career success she has gleaned over the years. At heart, it’s about working with the person above you to create a productive and effective partnership.

Everyone is a manager, in one way or another, Badowski points out. She discusses first-hand what it’s like to have to be a mind reader, to anticipate the future, to plan for the unexpected, and to perform the impossible. With refreshing candor and a hint of attitude, Badowski’s advice is unlike any other. She advises us that “Impatience is a virtue,” to “Have no shame,” and to “Beware the too-quiet office.” Having worked in one of the most challenging, high-profile corporate environments anywhere, no one knows more about prioritizing, about making decisions on behalf of your boss, about sifting through a daily barrage of data and information, about multitasking at warp speed, and exhibiting grace under fire. Ultimately, Badowski says, excelling at what you do is about a shared passion for the job.

Managing Up is an invaluable guide for managing your career and juggling responsibilities with finesse and confidence. It should become a management bible for anyone hoping to get ahead in their profession.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The business book market is jammed with books for bosses, telling them how to manage, lead, create corporate strategy and get more from employees. Badowski s tome takes a different approach, but is just as useful: it s meant for all workers, regardless of their position. Because, as she wisely points out, everyone has a boss. Badowski, who has the distinction of being Jack Welch s former executive assistant, here explains how she survived and thrived during her 14-plus years as the boss man s secret weapon. She s written a snappy little guide, mixing anecdotes with clear-cut tips on how to partner with higher-ups. She advises readers to make the agenda of the person you work for your own and asserts that individuals solve problems not senior management. Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to have had such a celebrated corporate leader as his or her boss. But if workers can follow Badowski s advice, they may find ways to win over crabby supervisors or at least strengthen their relationships with other colleagues. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Soundview Executive Book Summaries
Management Lessons From Jack Welch's Executive Assistant
While Rosanne Badowski was the executive assistant to Jack Welch at General Electric for 13 years, she learned many intense lessons about managing her manager. She did such a good job with her boss, a man whom Fortune magazine named as one of the top 10 toughest bosses in America, that he took her with him as his principal lieutenant and chief of staff at his private consulting firm when he retired in 2001.

While at GE for more than 25 years, Badowski learned many crucial techniques for solving problems, developing opportunities, and navigating successfully through the work week. Throughout her book, Managing Up, she offers many ways managers can build effective working partnerships, and uses straightforward language and colorful examples of how they worked for her.

Maintain Energy And Maximize Efficiency
Some of the issues Badowski covers in her book include maintaining energy through a rough day, making the right decision with fairness, admitting and forgiving mistakes, limiting impatience, and even creating time where there is never enough. The helpful tips and techniques she offers in Managing Up explore the most important aspects of working with a boss to help him or her maximize efficiency and prepare for the important questions and situations that an executive faces while driving an organization.

Although she started as a secretary and continued to perform many of the same functions - answering the phone, placing calls, taking shorthand and typing -while working for Welch at GE, she also excelled as the quintessential executive assistant who served as a project manager, coordinator, communicator and troubleshooter. She writes that we are all managers as well as secretaries, and we should all act in a secretarial fashion at times, "rolling up our sleeves and doing the mundane tasks that make grand business strategies work."

The Basic Principles of Managing Up
Some of the basic principles Badowski addresses in Managing Up include:

  • Managing is not the exclusive property of MBA graduates.
  • At times we are all managers, and we are all support staff.
  • Those who manage up have to think - and act -like managers.
  • A good manager is a student of cause and effect.
  • It's not good enough to be aware of what's happening around you; you must also know why it is happening.
  • If you are not helping, you are hindering.
  • Ask yourself: Did the work I performed today help achieve a goal?

The Importance of Chemistry
While she addresses these issues and many smaller facets of managing up, she also explores the importance of chemistry. When she filled the job of the executive assistant to the CEO, the personal chemistry between her and Welch was crucial for both of them to achieve their personal and mutual goals.

Describing why her first interview with Welch was so successful, she offers this piece of wisdom: "Being fully effective springs from building a reputation for being a team player, demonstrating a willingness to accept responsibility, bringing new ideas to the job, and being productive." The real-life experiences she shares provide many lessons about resolving conflicts and effective communication.

While expounding on the fundamental principles of managing up, she also professes some important points that have guided her along the way to success as an effective executive assistant. These points appear throughout every chapter, as stand-alones that speak volumes in a few simple words. Some of these include such gems as, "Make life easier for the person above you," and "Treating all employees equally is unfair to your star performers."

Why Soundview Likes This Book
Managing Up is a primer for any manager who wants to make working with a boss more efficient, productive and satisfying. Along with her experienced words of wisdom that can be applied to most working situations and relationships, Badowski also delivers a behind-the-scenes storybook about the business tactics and skills of Jack Welch as seen by somebody who knows him so well that she remains an indispensable part of his business dealings to this day. Her personal experiences with Welch, as well as his business interactions with others, make this a compelling book that is filled with informative lessons that have been tried and tested over many years with the epitome of the effective boss - who succeeded, at least in part, from the benefits of being managed up. Copyright (c) 2003 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

The Crown Publishing Group
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Random House
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2 MB

Meet the Author

ROSANNE BADOWSKI has worked with former GE CEO Jack Welch for thirteen years. Prior to becoming Welch’s executive assistant, she spent twelve years in administrative positions in international human resources, executive management, and organization planning at GE. She lives in Easton, Connecticut.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Managing Up 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank goodness that Rosanne has finally put into words how EA's contribute to the workplace! My hat is off to her and I've gleaned some new tips!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the reminiscence of a famous CEO¿s secretary, but it is better than you might expect. Jack Welch¿s former executive assistant and now author Rosanne Badowski spins anecdotes nicely. She also provides some possibly inadvertent grains of salt to season everything else you may have read about her boss. However, the idea that her warmly chatty observations can generate a respectable book is a tribute to the power of his legend - and her entertaining recollections. The image of a CEO whose secretary has to go through his trash to keep track of what he¿s been doing is very revealing. So is the idea of a secretary going behind her super-boss like Mommy behind a toddler, turning off faucets he can¿t be bothered to shut for himself. Welch acknowledges in the forewordthat he was a difficult, sometimes aggravating boss. He says Badowski, 'lived and breathed work,' and he praises her 'loyalty, discretion and forgiveness' and well as her long hours, the care she took with confidential information and her talent for dealing with those who seek it. Badowski pulls few punches, so you may well agree with Welch¿s self-assessment after you read her book. However, Welch was also, on occasion, a brilliant manager, and Badowski became a strong one, too. We find that her up-close viewpoint includes some useful managerial insights and just enough gossip to keep your batteries charged.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am new to the Executive Assistant level of Administrative Assistants. I found Ms. Badowski's book very informative for someone who is just getting started. It was enjoyable read. She used very relatable examples and used humor to help move the book along.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rosanne Badowski's enlightened and insightful explanation of managing demonstrates her sixth sense capacity to spot the real and phony. During her interviews with Jack Welch, she focused on him having a capacity to spot a phony. She did not mention her own ability. I make this statement from direct experience. She redirected material that I sent to Welch to Steve Kerr, Vice President, Leadership Development. It led to a worthwhile exchange of ideas and deeper insights into a part of Jack Welch's management style that has not been covered by the media or in books by, or about, him. I am certain that she would not have taken the position of being the CEO's assistant at Enron.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been an executive assistant for 29 years and I found very little of value or interest in this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a quick read albeit not a very interesting one. The primary message I got from this book is that the author was completely enamored with Jack Welch and had totally devoted a good majority of her life to serving him while apparently sacrificing all her personal time. What she described as her sense of humor was a little offbeat and certainly not professional. The potential for a good story is there, it just never hits the mark.