There are many reasons why it is important to manage your boss. One key reason is to proactively re-engage a boss that has become an observer. The reality is your boss’s boss is 100% clear who owns the outcome – it is your boss, not you. Considering it is not in your best interest that your boss fails, especially if that failure is caused by you, it is important to get your boss engaged in what you are doing and ensure they really understand what outputs to expect. Surprise is an ugly word for senior managers.
Managing your boss does not mean controlling your boss – in the same way that your boss does not control you. What managing upwards is about is proactively addressing areas that your boss is not addressing.
The question should not be, “Can I really manage my boss?”, but instead “Can I afford not to manage my boss?”