"Leading up requires an ability to work in two
directions at once, of both stepping into the breach
and listening to those below you before you step off
a cliff yourself.
Above all, upward leadership requires the conscious subordination of
personal gain to organisational purpose.
Leading the boss is therefore about helping the organisation to achieve its
mission regardless of the personal costs or benefits," says
Michael Useem, the author of Leading Your Boss.
"Upward leadership requires a driving urge to make things
happen on high, an unflinching willingness to take charge
when not fully in command. When a subordinate does lead up, it requires equal
courage for the boss to
listen down, especially in cultures that traditionally eschew voices from
below. A culture
that encourages upward leadership is built, not born. For that, senior
managers must regularly insist that their junior staff question strategy and
challenge error. Asking those of lesser rank to say what they candidly think
and complimenting them for doing so are small measures that can make for