Effective mentorship is likely one of the most important determinants of success in academic medicine and research. Many papers focus on mentoring from the mentor's perspective, but few give guidance to mentees forging these critically important relationships. The authors apply "managing up," a corporate concept, to academic medical settings both to promote effective, successful mentoring and to make a mentor's job easier. Managing up requires the mentee to take responsibility for his or her part in the collaborative alliance and to be the leader of the relationship by guiding and facilitating the mentor's efforts to create a satisfying and productive relationship for both parties. The authors review the initiation and cultivation of a mentoring relationship from the perspective of a mentee at any stage (student through junior faculty), and they propose specific strategies for mentee success.