Rule number one: brown nosing is in. Kissing the bosses butt sure doesn't hurt your standing at work. No one likes a suck up but you need to keep in mind this is survival. Find out what your boss is into and find a way to participate. If your boss is a golfer then talk to him about golf. If your boss is thinking of you in terms other than being his employee he's more likely to favor you over the other employees.
There is competition on every job. There is always someone you work with that either wants your position or knows someone who needs your position. You can stay competitive without seeming competitive. If you apply yourself correctly this can work. Take on the tasks that everyone else avoids and handle the tougher jobs your boss will take notice.
Watch your reactions at work. If you show you are easily stressed then your boss may view you as a liability rather than an asset. Showing that you can contribute to the company as part of a team without getting all worked up will impress your superiors.
Modestly tell your boss about your accomplishments in the office. He might not always be aware of what you have done or the difficulty you had to overcome to achieve the end result. For example if you receive some type of praise for a job well done from a customer be sure to share that with your boss.
If your company is large enough and your boss receives a promotion be sure to stay in touch with him. If you keep in touch and follow the proper channels you could follow him to the top.