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

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

by F. William Smullen


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Ways and Means for Managing Up: 50 Strategies for Helping You and Your Boss Succeed by F. William Smullen


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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071825245
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
Publication date: 04/18/2014
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

F. WILLIAM SMULLEN III is director of National Security Studies at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and professor of public relations at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Former chief of staff to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, Smullen was a professional soldier whose career included a series of infantry, command, and staff assignments at the platoon, company, battalion, brigade, and division level.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii

Introduction xv

1 Believe in Your Boss or Find Another 1

2 Be Forever Loyal and Faithful to the Boss 5

3 Think of Your Boss as a Brand 9

4 Know More Than Is Expected 13

5 Anticipate What the Boss Wants or Needs 17

6 It's About the Boss; It's Not About You 23

7 Treat Every Day as Game Day 27

8 Manage the Calender and the Clock 31

9 Never Wear Your Boss's Rank or Position 35

10 Never Allow Your Boss to Be Surprised 39

11 Never Sign the Boss's Signature 43

12 Get a Seat at the Table 47

13 Pace Yourself and Your Boss 51

14 Provide the Boss Some Quiet Time Each Workday 55

15 Send the Boss on That Needed Vacation 59

16 Keep the Boss's Better Half Informed and Involved 61

17 Accompany the Boss on Business Travel 63

18 Protect the Boss from the Adoring 67

19 Anticipate the Boss's Thinking and Decisions 71

20 Think Beyond the Horizon 75

21 Build and Maintain the Boss's Credibility 79

22 Be a Gatekeeper, Not a Gate Blocker 83

23 Don't Speak for the Boss Unless He Asks or Knows 87

24 Push the Boss out in Public When There Is a Purpose 91

25 Prepare the Boss for Each Event or Activity 95

26 Resolve Conflict for the Boss 101

27 Help Manage Risk 105

28 Prepare Now for Crisis 109

29 Be a Strategic Asset 113

30 Don't Hesitate to Tell the Boss He or She Is Wrong 117

31 If at First Your Opinion Doesn't Succeed, Try, Try Again 121

32 Expect the Unexpected 125

33 Inspire the Right Work Ethic 131

34 Reflect a Front Office That Is Cheerful 137

35 Impress Early and Often 141

36 Keep Meetings to 30 Minutes or Less 145

37 Provide the Boss Some Cover 149

38 Assume Someone's Always Watching 153

39 Life Is Not a Spectator Sport 157

40 Keep the Staff Informed About Requirements and Decisions 161

41 Help Disallow Threatening Behavior 165

42 Don't Be Afraid to Take a Risk 169

43 Build and Maintain Relationships 175

44 Every Problem Needs a Solution 179

45 Build a Comfort Zone for the Boss 183

46 It's the Deed, Not the Credit 187

47 Be a Conscience for Your Boss 191

48 Bullying Is Bad for Business 195

49 Have Fun Along the Way 199

50 Evaluate Everything You Do 203

Acknowledgments 207

Idex 209

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