I decided to tackle this subject because I felt recently that this aspect is never “taught” to budding managers, leaders in organizations and it is perhaps because of this that they never get their relationship off to a roaring start with their boss.
I have been a boss of numerous teams for well over 15 years now, and it was now that I am back in India after roaming around Africa and the US for 10 years, and getting involved in my own startup with my dear friend, Shyam ( http://www.ourvivaha.com) that I realized that its high time I wrote about this issue for my gorgeous and handsome CREBEL team!!
this goes out to you all OurVivaha CREBELS!!
It’s nice to imagine that the success of your career rests upon your basic competence at doing your job, but that’s only half the picture. Raises, promotions, and other perks depend directly on how well you can manage your boss. If he or she doesn’t warm up to you—or worse, doesn’t remember that you exist—you’ll never land the plum assignments you need to get ahead. In addition to performing well, you have to make sure the boss knows about all the things you’re doing right, while also building personal rapport so that he or she will keep your best interests in mind.
Make “Keeping the Boss in the Loop” a Regular Activity
Goal: Reassure your boss that you know what you’re doing.
The secret fear of every boss is that employees are screwing up and either not telling anyone or (even worse) aren’t aware there’s a problem. To reassure themselves, bosses may sometimes pick an aspect of an employee’s job and begin randomly asking penetrating questions about the details. If you answer these queries with grace and aplomb, the boss assumes you’re competent. Hesitate or evade, and the boss may assume all your work is slipshod.
What Your Boss Expects: The Basics
- Credibility. Follow through on assignments and do what you say you’re going to. If you want your boss to trust you, your word has to carry weight.
- Professionalism. Bosses appreciate individuals who are serious about what they do and willing to take the time to achieve a deep understanding of their craft.
- Integrity. The test of integrity is whether you’ll take a stand, even when it’s unpopular with your boss. The boss has the final decision, but it’s your job to make sure it’s the right one.
- Caring. Bosses value relationships with direct reports who care about them. Show that you’re truly concerned about what the boss has to say by responding with solutions rather than complaints or excuses.
- Knowledge. Bosses need people who have unique expertise. You don’t have to be a pro at everything, but you do need a specific area of knowledge that your boss values.
Create a Core Message for Your Boss
Goal: Bosses are forgetful. Make sure yours knows just how valuable you are.
When you’re working your butt off, it’s easy to assume that your boss knows exactly what you’re doing. But even though she may have assigned your work to you, in the crush of daily pressures and changing priorities, your contribution easily gets lost in the shuffle. Worse, you could end up pursuing goals that no are longer important priorities.
Self Promotion Without Smarminess
If marketing yourself to your own boss feels a little slimy, think about ways you can casually talk things up without overselling—and without driving your core message into the ground. Each interaction should add new information, and when you can, fold the message into the day’s news, for example: “I just got off the phone with a candidate for the R&D job. We’re getting resumes from some really impressive people.”
Tap a Vital Resource: The Boss’s Influencers
Goal: Enlist others to spread the word about your importance to the company.
You may think you have a one-on-one relationship with your boss, but you’re actually part of a crowd of people—from your peers to your boss’s peers to your boss’s bosses—who influence the boss’s decision-making. Their comments and gossip will inevitably affect your boss’s opinion of you and your work, so you want to be certain that, if they’re not actively singing your praises, at least they’re reading from the same hymnal.
|Your Boss (VP of Marketing)||I’m developing a channel sales program that will increase revenue and profit. (core message)|
|VP of Engineering||This new program will get the products you’re designing out to as many people as possible.|
|VP of Manufacturing||With channel sales, we’ll be able to predict demand, which will cut down on job overruns.|
|VP of Human Resources||The program I’m developing will let us expand the business without exceeding headcount limitations.|
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|With channel sales, we can sell products at a 20 percent higher gross margin than with direct sales.|