Summary of Leading Up

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8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


When leaders lack solutions to challenging problems, they need brave subordinates, clients or vendors who will challenge them and help them think in a fresh way. Wharton Business School professor Michael Useem calls this process “leading up.” He defines “upward leadership” and provides a range of historic examples – some very compelling, others maybe less so – drawn from the worlds of the military, business, politics and religion. getAbstract recommends his in-depth report to leaders and upcoming leaders, especially those who love history.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to encourage leadership from the bottom up,
  • Why “leading up” matters and
  • How “upward leadership” works in action, based on historic case histories.

About the Author

Michael Useem, PhD, directs the Center for Leadership and Change Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he is also a professor.



Leading from the Bottom Up
True leaders recognize the value of leadership from the bottom up. Employees, clients and vendors can all help make an organization better. Frontline employees have a clear view of brewing crises and can detect fresh future opportunities, but they may find “leading...

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