Stephen Covey, author of bestseller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, writes in his blog that you can take control of your professional career by influencing your boss. The key is to empathise.
Think of your boss's challenges, problems, concerns, and future plans-this is empathy. With empathy and anticipation you can act independently of your boss to deal with concerns and discover opportunities and underlying threats. By acting independently and keeping your boss's needs in mind (or the company's needs) you are, in effect, leading.
Empathising with your boss gives you the upper hand and allows you to be more productive. By looking at the bigger picture—what your manager wants and why he wants it—you can sway your boss with additional deliverables that can then be implemented into regular business practice.