How to Help Your Boss Help You

Now Or Later Keys Shows Delay Deadlines And UrgencyLet’s face it. Your manager is more apt to have your back when he knows that you have his. To do that, you’ll have to make a personal investment in his success. If he’s a good guy, he’ll do the same. If not, it will become readily apparent in short order. On the assumption that you’ve followed my advice in the last blog and are not working for a putz, follow the guidelines below to expedite his success…and yours.

  1. Go Above and Beyond
  • Kick the Field Goals: Be dependable. Make sure your normal job duties are automatic points on the board.
  • Listen: Speaking of boards…be a sounding board. Most people blow smoke. Be tactful when required, but offer honest advice and council when asked. Yes Men are useless.
  • Fill the Gap:If your boss isn’t a numbers guy, be the Excel guru. If she struggles with words, play a little Cyrano de Bergerac to help her presentations sing.  
  1. Make an Impression
  • Don’t Brag:Too much “I” language is dangerous. A good boss will want to develop and advance talent, but give the impression that you are gunning for his/her job and you might find yourself ostracized.
  • Have a Plan for where you want to go, why it makes sense as a next move, and how your boss can help. When the time comes to move on, make sure you have a well-trained replacement in place so the big guy is covered.
  • Ask for Help…to Help Him: Have your eye on an expensive certification that will help your career? Position your request in a way that will showcase how the investment will help your complete your current goals better/faster and you may get the green light. Managers will often support your goals if they see the personal win.
  1. Point Out Your Accomplishments 
  • Just the Facts: Let data sing your praises. Just like you did on the interview, explain the challenge you faced, the action you took, and the results you achieved e.g. % increase in production, # of additional sales, etc.
  • Supplement with Stories: Gather praise from customers and key stakeholders that show you are able to build relationships while getting results.
  • Note Team Contributions: Present a few examples of how you helped others on the team get results…. and balance those stories with how they helped you.
  1. Learn and Earn…That Raise
  • Leverage Deliberate Practice: Ask your manager for honest feedback about your weakness and work methodically to improve them while leveraging your strengths.
  • Transfer the Knowledge: There are pockets of excellence in both performance and culture in even the worst led companies. Practice the behavior you want to see and it will catch on, making life easier for everyone including your manager.
  • Share Your Proof Points: There is only so much money and so many promotions slots to go around. So share your achievements and then demonstrate with data why selecting you for a promotion/raise is a smart, defendable call.

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