In 1980, one of the most significant articles on modern leadership was published in the Harvard Business Review - "Managing Your Boss," by John J. Gabarro and John P. Kotter changed conventional wisdom from a didactic ('the boss tells you what to do') into a collaboration between employee and employer.
Nearly 30 years later, those concepts are as important as ever. And 'managing up' is a critical component in my book, "Managing People in the 21st Century".
If you manage people, encourage your employees to manage up. If you have a boss (and it's likely you do), make sure you understand the world he/she operates in - what his or her goals and objectives are.
The key to successful leadership is communication.
A conversation with the authors of that article is posted at forbes.com.