How to Effectively Manage Up

  • Gerard M. DohertyEmail author
Part of the Success in Academic Surgery book series (SIAS)


Managing Up is often misunderstood. This concept for those in management positions can be confused with “sucking up” – insincerely positive behavior intended for the observation of the manager’s superiors in order to curry favor. The point of Managing Up is not to impress one’s superiors, but rather to recognize and perform well in those parts of your role as a manager that support the superior. Leadership positions in academic surgery are complex, and even successful leaders are not uniformly effective across the spectrum of their challenges. However, one of the ways to fall far short of expectations, and to fail to realize one’s potential in areas of strength, is to ignore the importance of Managing Up. Leaders must recognize that they are a part of someone else’s team, in addition to building their own. They need to recognize what is expected of them, and how to perform in ways that support the goals of their superiors. This includes the goals that the superior has formally set, as well as the ones that they have not recognized. Succeeding in Managing Up can include many types of behavior, and may require specific actions for specific manager/superior relationships. This chapter will discuss principles and successful strategies for effectively Managing Up.


Institutional Leadership Important Project Strategic Planning Process Successful Leader Department Goal 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Suggested Reading

  1. Badowski R. Managing up: how to forge an effective relationship with those above you. New York: Doubleday; 2004.Google Scholar
  2. Harvard Business Review. Managing up. 20 Minute Manager series. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press; 2014.Google Scholar
  3. How I manage up working for Penelope. Accessed 20 July 2014.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Boston UniversityBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations