Managing Up by Mary Abbajay [Book Summary]


A lot of us which to have a leadership place at our place of work; however, as a matter of fact not everybody will become a boss. In contrast, nearly everyone will have a boss; however, regardless of this basic truth, it’s very easier to seek advice and direction on how to be a good manager than on how to be an ideal subordinate. This is shocking because the relationship you form with your boss has a huge effect on both your career prospects and your whole happiness. 

Fortunately, this book summary is here to amend the balance and provide essential clues and tricks for enjoying a good relationship with your boss. Briefly, you will get to know the easy yet key strategies for managing up –meaning, managing your relationship with the person superior to you. You’ll be left with a feeling of confidence and experience to flourish in any working setting. 


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Chapter 1 – Introverted and extroverted bosses need different communication methods. 


When you need to form interpersonal relationships with people, as well as your boss, it’s essential to know what causes them to act in a certain way. How they communicate and their source of energy? 

These parts of the character are regularly influenced by a person’s level of extraversion; therefore, question yourself: Is your boss an Outie –meaning an extrovert? Or is she an Innie, or introvert?

For you to answer this, observe how your boss acts. 

An Innie boss will regularly concentrate on her own opinions and notions. This signifies that she may not reveal such kind of information with you and might just offer you her own view when you request for it. This type of boss doesn’t relate a lot with her coworkers and have the tendency to think about choices before making them; that is, she’s slow to react to people’s questions.

On the other hand, a classic Outie boss concentrates on the external world of people as well as her relationships with them. She’ll gladly share her ideas with you; as a matter of fact, she may even give you a lot of details sometimes. You’ll regularly understand her thoughts since she’s willing to share them with you, and her friendly behavior will shine through during her normal relations with the worker. 

Nothing is wrong with either Innies or Outies whether you’re a boss or a subordinate. But, issues can occur when there’s an incompatibility between your level of extroversion and your boss’s. Fortunately, there are tried and tested methods for dealing with an introverted boss. 

For instance, let’s say you’re an Outie working for an Innie, you may need more relationship and guidance than she tends to offer. In such type of circumstance, attempt being proactive.  Create some one-on-one time with her, and ensure it is your duty to begin meetings rather than waiting for her to do that. When you have that valuable time with your Innie boss, attempt not to be really chatty; you’ll get a better answer if you make your communications firmly concentrated on the duty at hand. 



On the contrary, if you’re a stressed Innie who feels exhausted by your Outie boss’s regular interaction, there are also methods to manage up. Firstly, extroverts have to feel that they’re being listened to; therefore listening, nodding and showing that you are interested while he talks at length can be a positive move. Secondly, become comfortable with giving your view, even though you are uncertain about what you’re saying. Extroverts don’t care if you think out loud, and they like open communication.

Eventually, your tactic of communication is the key strategy for managing up both Innies and Outies, together with two other personality kinds, which we’ll explore in the following chapter.


Chapter 2 – Discover if your boss is a Harmonizer or an Advancer. 


People regularly mention that we should act toward others as we would like them to act to us. However, what if all of us are really different from each other that what we really need is to be treated uniquely? 

In order to relate well with your boss, you’ll have to know her workplace nature and treat her accordingly to that. Also, in any place of work, there are numerous separate kinds of personality. 

The two main ones are the Advancer and the Harmonizer. 

The Advancer is obsessed with having outcomes. She’s extremely goal-oriented and less focused on forming friendly relationships with her coworkers. She’s viewed as confident, capable and pragmatic; however, she’s also seen as a cold, demanding and controlling force around the office. 

On the other hand, there’s the Harmonizer, who cares a bit about outcomes and cares more about getting his workplace to be a great place. His attention isn’t a lot much on realizing goals as it is on making sure that his coworkers are happy and working well with each other. Although the Harmonizer’s colleagues view him as kind and cooperative, they may also see him weak or really relaxed around the office.  

As soon as you notice the harmonizing or advancing personalities in your boss, you need to amend your deeds to better manage your relationship with him. 

For instance, Advancers are extremely solution-oriented and not interested in stressing over difficulties; they want things fixed, quick. Having this in mind, when you meet your Advancer boss with an issue, you need to also have a potential answer in mind. Better yet, you need to have numerous answers, so he can quickly choose the best solution. You also need to remember that Advancers don’t have a lot of time for complaints – they want to listen to proposals. For instance, rather than complaining to an Advancer about a disorganized IT system, ask for their approval to reorganize that system yourself. 



On the contrary, a Harmonizer boss has his attention on the harmony and unity of his team. Therefore, if an issue occurs between you and one of your colleagues, your boss will most likely not appreciate you taking it to him. Harmonizers don’t want to get mixed up in an interpersonal clash. 

Rather, endeavor to fix your problem with your colleague on your own. Also, concentrate on how the whole team can get along with one another better. Even though you’re faking your feelings, your Harmonizer boss will still appreciate your effort on the team’s whole well-being. Nevertheless, even if everybody doesn’t want to be treated in the same manner, everyone wants to be treated well.


Chapter 3 – Create good relationships with micromanager bosses by earning their trust.


Does your boss stop by your desk to question you on what you are doing all the time? Does he clarify, in small detail, how to do a job, even in situations when you understand more about it than he does? Is anything but his method the wrong method? If any of these cases seem familiar, then you’ve probably ended up with a micromanaging boss.  

The micromanager is the boss who regularly checks over your shoulder and examines all the things you do. Of course, working with this kind of boss can be really frustrating. Not just do every human possess an intrinsic need for autonomy and independence; however from a career point of view, micromanager bosses can choke your possibilities for professional development. 

Therefore, how can you deal with this hard relationship? 

Firstly, it essential to know that a lot of micromanagers are behaving from a place of fear. Deep down, these types of bosses feel incompetent and insecure in their managerial duty. They regularly stress about making errors and failing. Unfortunately, the manner they handle these feelings is by over-controlling their assistants. Micromanaging other people gives them this feeling of being powerful, and this feeling assists calm their insecurities.

The first move to handling a micromanager is to earn his trust. Since he doesn’t trust himself or you to do a good job, you can assist put him at ease by displaying to him that you’re a dependable worker who does well all the time. Though this might entail that you need to work harder in the short-term, it’s essential to prove to your micromanager that you can consistently meet expectations and make a good choice. Trust that if you regularly bring results from your part of the equation, your boss’s confidence in you will increase, and trust will ultimately blossom.



Furthermore, remember to communicate with your micromanager boss – a lot. This kind of manager regularly appreciates understanding each information about your working day. Having this in mind, think of sending him a memo every day that summarizes which projects you’re presently working on and what their status is. Don’t be scared to add detailed information on how you’re managing your time, as well. 

Although this would be a lot of information for the majority of the bosses, your micromanager will be glad to know if you’re going to be late for a few minutes or the time you’re taking a client out for coffee. And that might only mean one less visit to your desk each day!


Chapter 4 – The absentee boss causes dangers and possibilities for your profession. 


It’s easy to think of the frustration of managing a micromanaging boss. Nevertheless, all of us have to handle the overbearing people before. What of the opposite, though? A boss who allows you do your own thing 24/7 seems really cool; however, the reality is that an absentee boss who doesn’t give the impression to know or bother about what you’re doing can be just as difficult to handle as a micromanager.

The absentee boss, either by chance or design, is basically never present when you want her. You might go a complete week without having an important conversation with her, and anytime you require assistance, she makes it obvious that she can’t assist you.  

This type of deed occurs for various reasons. Some absentee bosses desire to be more hands-on; however, they’re basically over swamped with their personal workload to offer any assistance. Others make a deliberate decision to be hands-off, trusting either that workers should understand their duties very well to do them on their own or that subordinates are “empowered” by a lot of autonomy. Finally, some absentee managers are just lazy or totally disconnected from their organization. They don’t bother anymore about doing their own work, and they don’t bother about what you’re doing either. 

Regardless of whatever the causes behind your boss’s ghostly presence in the office, there are tactics you can take to deal with the issues. 



The first move is to deal with your work. Though this might seem clear, a lot of people who are managed by an absentee boss find it hard to fight the temptation to relax, lessen their effort and leave work early daily. No one is looking, right? Wrong. Because your boss isn’t watching you don’t signify that every other person at your place of work is not watching as well. Therefore, ensure you keep doing every task related to your duty. If you don’t to that, then before you know it it’ll be your reputation that suffers together with your boss’s. 

Another method to deal with an absentee boss is to see her disinterest as a chance for you to take action. Nature doesn’t like emptiness; therefore, if your manager is leaving a leader-shaped hole in your team, don’t be scared to shoulder some of her duties. You can turn to the person who makes the hard choices and makes sure that projects are progressing even your manager isn’t present. However, someone needs to do it.


Chapter 5 – The narcissist boss needs to be managed with the utmost care.  


Some bosses look good when you meet them for the first time. During your recruitment interview, they seem charming, charismatic and really skilled – the kind of person you’d kill to work with. However, after a few weeks of working for them, things change for the worse. That perfect leader is really a power-crazed, narcissistic nightmare. If this seems familiar, then you’ve most likely brushed up against the narcissist boss. 

There are specific unmistakable personalities of this hellish type of leader. 

Firstly, the narcissist boss is defined by his huge ego in which the people surrounding him has to flatter regularly. This manager considers him as the chosen one and due to that, believes that he warrants regular adoration and commendation from his subordinates. Unluckily, this signifies that team meetings are regularly less about the work-related issue and more about commending his brilliance. Also, the narcissist boss is on a continuous power trip; he will keep reminding you that he is the one who makes decisions. And if you try to question his power, he’ll most likely hold a grudge against you forever. 

Therefore, how can you endure this upsetting mixture of ego and hostility? 

You can begin by encouraging yourself that, eventually, working for a narcissist might really be an edge for your career. Miserable as it seems, narcissists have a skill for attaining to the peak of the corporate ladder, and a lot of them become successful entrepreneurs with a lot of effects. If you can handle their hard traits and stay them, you may as well see yield in professional growth and business connections. 



But, if you’re going to not just endure but also flourish while working for a narcissist, you’ll have to understand how to speak with them – and how to confront them. 

In order to have tough discussions, or any discussion, with a narcissist boss, you’ll have to display to him an exaggerated level of respect and regard. If you want to object him, put much concern and thought into how you speak with him and keep in mind that to the narcissist, how you show your message will mean more than the message itself. Therefore, to make him feel secure and bigger, make sure you constantly accept his authority as a prelude to giving your view. If you can’t avoid the narcissist, you might also keep yourself in his good books until he unavoidably ascends the corporate ladder.


Chapter 6 – Sympathize with your incompetent boss and don’t be really fast to abandon her. 


Is your boss a person who uses a lot of time concentrating on things that are not relevant? Does she not know how to make choices, preferring to relax and be inactive? Do you feel like you’re uninformed since she doesn’t keep you updated? If any of these cases sound seem, then you’ve most likely had the bad luck to work for an incompetent boss. 

This kind of manager doesn’t want to cause any harm; however, that doesn’t signify that she won’t cause destruction on both your confidence and your productivity anyway. 

That’s is as a result of the incompetent boss that can’t get anything right. She uses much time avoiding essential choices, and when she actually decides, it’s usually the wrong move. Also, the incompetent boss is a bad communicator. Working with her signifies working in a state of confusion since she doesn’t keep you up-to-date on essential developments. Also, you can forget about deadlines, the incompetent boss usually misses deadlines and she can’t make her assistants to meet them too. 

Therefore, how can you handle this annoying leader without throwing tantrum? 

Firstly, it is important to know the reason she is really bad at her job. Is it likely that she basically doesn’t have the confidence to decide and is weakened by the prospect of failing? If that is the case, then attempt to address her with a bit more empathy and kindness. Question yourself how you would feel if you were in her shoes and how you would wish to be treated. Attempt to find means remove some pressure off her or to assist her to navigate the structure of your organization more. By doing this, it will also help you become her ally, instead of an enemy who makes her already-hard job harder. 



Secondly, attempt to find out what your incompetent boss is good at, instead of just concentrating on her weaknesses. There should be a reason why they put her in a leadership position; therefore, maybe you can learn a thing from her. For instance, maybe she possesses exceptional technical skills in your field that you can use. 

Or perhaps she’s extremely skilled at selling herself and ready to share the secrets of self-promotion with you. Even though she didn’t receive the work on any type of merit, she may still possess a strong business or political connections that assisted her to get the job– connections that she might be willing to pass it on to you. 


Chapter 7 – Occasionally the only means to handle a terrible boss is to leave. 


While the author was still a child, he was given a clear message from his parents: do not quit. If he began a thing, they told him that, he had to complete it as well; maybe it was after-school sports or part-time babysitting. For we that have also grown up with the idea that winners never quit, walking away from something can seem a shameful failure. However, the reality is that when we talk about truly bad bosses, sometimes all you have to do is leave. 

While tactics can assist you to manage tough managers, you shouldn’t overlook caution indications that it’s time for you to leave the matter completely. 

Therefore, when next its Sunday evening, take time to think about how you’re feeling. While some of us enjoy the prospect of work the following day, it’s not healthy to be totally scared or feel like you are about to be imprisoned. If you feel like that at the end of the weekend, it’s time for you to consider quitting. 

Alarm bells should also begin to ring if you’re using the majority of your time and mental energy at your place of work on anything except your real work. When you’re really busy with cruel office politics that your job comes second, or if you’re preoccupied with looking for means to live or dodge your boss, it’s time for a change. 



Unluckily, though we may know that our working surrounding has become really stressful, a lot of us feel reluctant to leave. Why is this so? It is because we believe we’ve put in a lot of time and hard work – and a lot of ourselves – into our part or the firm to just quit it. Therefore, we keep enduring, expecting that our investment will eventually pay off. 

But, it’s essential to think that while you’ll never be able to regain all the things your work has cost you in terms of time and hard work, you can prevent it from costing you future joy. Keep in mind that, every day that you use being sad in your present job is another day you’re forfeiting the chance to be contented and successful at another place. 

Also, while you can’t hope to change the past, you can take back both the charge of your career and your happiness by trying to wish for something better. 


Managing Up: How to Move up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss by Mary Abbajay Book Review


Managing your relationship with your boss is really essential to your career path; therefore,  it’s important to take time to study your boss and better know what makes her tick. Understanding the things she likes and how she likes to be talked with and what her managerial blinds spots are will be really helpful not just creating bonds with the person you have to work under daily, but also assist you to withstand and flourish eventually. 


When you are working for a narcissist, you can’t trust anybody.

If you see yourself working for a narcissist boss, it can be enticing to complain about them at their back to your coworkers. Unluckily, this is a risky thing to do. Narcissist bosses have a tendency to be paranoid and regularly reward sycophantic followers who show them loyalty. So, in an attempt to curry favor, the coworker you complained to might probably tell your boss all the things you’ve talked on about him. Soon enough, you’ve acquired a dangerous foe. It is better to keep your real feelings to yourself! 


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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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