Synopses & Reviews
Take Charge of the Relationship That Matters Most to Your Career
Your most important work relationship is with your boss. You need it to go well. But even the best bosses can be hard to read, and some seem downright inscrutable. Your boss isn’t going to change for you—don’t waste your time trying. The solution lies in figuring out what makes your boss tick and adapting your own work style to make the relationship better. But how do you do that?
In this pragmatic and accessible guide, top executive coach Steve Arneson shows how to find the answers to fifteen essential questions that will help you understand your boss’s leadership style, goals, motivations, work relationships, and how he or she sees you. Vivid real-world examples demonstrate Arneson’s advice in action and show clearly how this process can be used to gain a more meaningful, productive, and enjoyable work life.
“Managing up often becomes the key skill for people who have long-term impact. This well-written, insightful, and practical book offers usable tips to help anyone influence the boss. What a gem!”
—Dave Ulrich, Professor, University of Michigan, and Partner, The RBL Group
“Based on his experience coaching hundreds of leaders, Steve Arneson offers practical advice for understanding the motives behind your boss’s actions and shows you how to take responsibility for the relationship.”
—Marshall Goldsmith, author of the global bestseller What Got You Here Won’t Get You There
“Steve Arneson provides a clear, achievable road map for success in working with your boss. This book has motivated me to create a ‘user’s guide’ for my own employee relationships!”
—Lisa Hook, CEO, Neustar
“Steve Arneson’s experience coaching global executives has given him sharp insights into how we can all change our story, improve our attitude, and enhance the interaction with the person who matters most to our career.”
—Thomas Gentile, President and CEO, GE Healthcare Systems
This book is based upon Steve Arneson's experience as a leadership coach. His simple, three-step process can give any frustrated worker insight into the bosss behavior. The goal is to determine what he or she really wants, and take steps to improve the relationship. In the end, the book is more about YOU than the BOSS. It's goal is to get the reader to stop thinking like a victim or observer, and step up to take charge.
The book is divided into three sections or steps. Step 1 involves studying your the to gain a full appreciation of their work environment and circumstances. Step 2 asks the reader to examine her history and current standing with the boss. Step 3 is about taking full responsibility for the relationship, adapting one's own behaviors to best fit what the boss wants. The book is built around dozens of questions that coach the reader into gaining and using new insights.
Every group that executive coach Steve Arneson speaks to has the same question: what does my boss want? Even a good boss can be hard to read, but many people have difficult bosses. Many bosses arent clear about their expectations, act in seemingly inexplicable ways, and suggest motives that appear to have nothing to do with helping you achieve your career goals. Arneson says the hard truth is that any efforts to improve, fix, or convert your boss wont work. The secret is to figure out what makes her tick and change your own approach to working with her.
The book is divided into three sections and built around fifteen questions—ten to ask about your boss and five to ask about yourself. It begins by showing you how you can study your boss to gain an understanding of what drives his behavior—work style, leadership brand, and motives. Once you understand this, you can consider how your boss sees you. Studying your boss is important, but you also have to look at yourself from her perspective. Finally, you need to take responsibility for the relationship. In this section, youll find practical suggestions for using what youve learned to change your interactions with your boss and tips for getting the relationship back on track. Arneson includes vivid real-world examples to show how he and his clients have put his advice into practice to gain more meaningful, productive, and enjoyable work lives.
About the Author
Steve Arneson founded Arneson Leadership Consulting to provide executive talent management, coaching and leadership development solutions to corporations and non-profit organizations.
Steve has a passion for helping leaders reach their full potential. He was named one of Americas Top 100 thought leaders on leadership and one of the countrys Top 25 leadership coaches by Leadership Excellence magazine. Steve also writes a national blog for The Conference Board.
In his corporate life, Steve has served as the head of Learning, Leadership Development, and Talent Management at five Fortune 300 companies: Capital One, AOL, Time Warner Cable, and divisions of Yum Brands and PepsiCo.
At Capital One, Steve developed the talent management and succession planning processes that resulted in the company twice being named to Fortunes Top 20 Companies for Leaders lists. While at COF, Steve and his team helped the company be named to Fortunes Top 100 Companies to Work For, created Capital One University, which annually ranked in the top 25 of Training Magazines corporate university rankings, and developed a high-potential Leadership Development Program (rated a top-10 corporate leadership program in 2005-2007 by Leadership Excellence).
Prior to Capital One, Steve served as VP of Organization Effectiveness for AOL and Time Warner Cable. Creating leadership programs and talent management systems in both companies, he partnered with senior executive teams to identify and develop exceptional leaders. Steve also served as Senior Director of People Development for PepsiCo, where he helped create a new principle-based leadership culture during the spin-off of Yum Brands from PepsiCo. Steve started his career as Vice President of Aon Consulting Worldwide, where he ran their southwest regional office.
Steve has been a senior executive coach for 15 years, and is a graduate of the Georgetown Coaching Program. Steve received his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from Montana State University and his M.A. in organizational psychology from the University of Kansas, before completing his Ph.D. in organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa.
He lives in Colorado.
Table of Contents
Step 1—Study Your Boss
Step 2—How Do They See You?
Step 3—Take Responsibility
Conclusion—Keep the Focus on You