Summary of Managing Up

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

Managing Up book summary


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


This is the reminiscence of a famous CEO’s secretary, but it is better than you might expect. Jack Welch’s former executive assistant and now author Rosanne Badowski spins anecdotes nicely. She also provides some possibly inadvertent grains of salt to season everything else you may have read about her boss. However, the idea that her warmly chatty observations can generate a respectable book is a tribute to the power of his legend - and her entertaining recollections. The image of a CEO whose secretary has to go through his trash to keep track of what he’s been doing is very revealing. So is the idea of a secretary going behind her super-boss like Mommy behind a toddler, turning off faucets he can’t be bothered to shut for himself. Welch acknowledges in the forewordthat he was a difficult, sometimes aggravating boss. He says Badowski, "lived and breathed work," and he praises her "loyalty, discretion and forgiveness" and well as her long hours, the care she took with confidential information and her talent for dealing with those who seek it. Badowski pulls few punches, so you may well agree with Welch’s self-assessment after you read her book. However, Welch was also, on occasion, a brilliant manager, and Badowski became a strong one, too. getAbstract finds that her up-close viewpoint includes some useful managerial insights and just enough gossip to keep your batteries charged.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What lessons executive assistant Rosanne Badowski learned from her boss, former GE CEO Jack Welch; and
  • How to manage your boss.

About the Authors

Rosanne Badowski worked on the administrative support staff at GE for more than 25 years, 13 of them as the executive assistant to CEO and chairman Jack Welch. When Welch retired in September 2001 and established a private consulting firm, she joined him as his principal lieutenant and chief of staff. Roger Gittines is a writer based in Washington, DC.



"Secret Weapon"
A major newsmagazine referred to executive assistant Rosanne Badowski as Jack Welch’s secret weapon. Instead, she modestly avers that she was a good soldier, alert and aware, able to decide what her boss, then CEO of GE (General Electric), did or did not need to see. She...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category