7. You are a forward-thinker. Bosses always stand spread-eagled with one leg in the future and one leg in the present. They have to manage what is going on every minute of every day while trying to prepare for what may or may not come tomorrow. That is really lonely work. Their employees are normally focused solely on the job they have in front of them. That is not their fault. They are busy doing the job they were hired to do, and given today’s business mantra of “doing more with less”, it is no wonder they don’t raise their heads long enough to sniff the air and think about what is good for the company’s future. However, no matter how busy you are, you can be a forward-thinker and help your boss formulate a vision for the future. Just constantly challenge yourself to think of ways how your company can excel in three areas: save money, increase client satisfaction, keep employees happy. This is a constant balancing act and one that is at the heart of nearly every strategic plan every developed.
6. You can do the job you were hired for. You probably think this is the proverbial “no-brainer.” It’s not. You would be amazed at how many employees either do not or cannot do the job they were hired for. The job may be beyond their skills and abilities or it may turn out to be very different than what they thought they were getting into. Either way, that is probably not the boss’s fault and he shouldn’t be penalized for it. The boss has a job that needs doing and your job is to do it. If you have trouble, get help. If you don’t like it, either change attitudes or change jobs. But in the meantime, do your job exactly how and when you were asked to do it, and your boss will love you for it.
- You can think on your feet. Bosses love an employee who can think quickly. You know the kind. These are the ones who have great reflexes and are mentally agile even under the most difficult circumstances. They are the ones who can get bombarded with rapid-fire questions during a presentation and still stay calm and reason well. These are the employees the boss can send anywhere and not be afraid of what they are going to do or say. These employees are constantly alert and never stutter and stammer in the face of stressful conditions. They are able to say they don’t know something without sounding like they don’t know anything. They can deflect the unpleasant without being unpleasant. And, they can improvise without sounding like they are making things up. Thinking on your feet is a skill that can be learned. If you want to get better at thinking on your feet, you have to be constantly observing, learning, and assessing. In other words, prepare for the unexpected.
4. You keep your personal biases under control. You know you have biases. Nobody escapes without them. But, it’s one thing to have them, it’s another thing to base your decisions on them, or even worse, try to force your boss to base his decisions on them just to keep you happy. Letting your biases get in your way prevents you from creating innovative ways of doing things. That can leave you closed off to new experiences and can create headaches for your boss. Biases at work often relate to people you don’t like to work with, things you don’t like to do, and places you don’t like to go. By not keeping your biases under control you create a situation where your boss either has to try to work around them or confront you on them. That’s ugly either way. What boss wants to try to assign workload based on an employee’s biases, or try to cajole an employee into doing something he doesn’t want to do? If you want your boss to think you’re great, be willing to do whatever is needed and leave the negative feelings about it at home.
3. You get along with people. God only knows bosses have enough problems to deal with, and employees who can’t get along with colleagues drive them nuts. Employees who scrap constantly, backstab at every opportunity, and just plain whine about each other are a huge drain on the boss’s time and focus. At a time when everyone needs to be focused on the work at hand and the organization’s mission, no boss wants to stop the presses and deal with why Ed and Joe are constantly at each other’s throats. On the other hand, bosses love employees who basically take people as they find them, hunker down and focus on the work, and try to find at least something worthwhile about each of their colleagues. I know this is not easy. I know at sometime in your career you will find yourself working with someone you do not even want to share the same air with, but the truth is, your boss doesn’t really care and doesn’t need the headache. Be that employee every boss wants, the one that can work with just about anyone.
Before we move on to point #3, I wanted to share with you another great blog about employment issues. Check it out at: http://www.carolroth.com/blog/leadership-effective-leadership-tips . Carol’s latest post went up this morning with great tips on effective leadership. I was glad to contribute to this effort with my comments listed on #76. There is a ton of great information in Carol’s post as she canvassed and selected input from a wide variety of business leaders. Enjoy!
2. You can keep a secret. If you are lucky enough to work for a boss who likes you, you might find yourself in a situation where the boss tells you something in confidence. This could be anything from a company secret, to her plans to leave, to her plans to fire one of your colleagues. Or, your boss might even tell you something personal like the fact that her husband is an alcoholic or her 14-year-old daughter is pregnant. Bosses are just human and unfortunately, they do not always think before spilling something to an employee that is better left unspilled. Whether the boss intentionally told you a secret or just let it slip out during one of your discussions, you still only have one option. Keep the information to yourself. As exciting as it might be to be in on something your colleagues don’t have a clue about, confiding in even one person can really sink your ship. Your boss will hate you and never trust you again. So before you give into temptation and just tell one person that secret, ask yourself if you really want to find yourself called into the boss’s office to defend your indiscretion?
- You see opportunity everywhere. Every new assignment, every new situation, and every new problem presents an opportunity to think critically, resolve creatively and create a history of accomplishments. That doesn’t mean you come into work every day panting like a Labrador Retriever and jumping up and down while squealing, “You want me to do anything, boss? How can I help you, boss? I love working, boss!” It might simply mean volunteering to take on assignments that may not be strictly within your job scope but will teach you something and help your boss at the same time. Or, it might mean taking a critical look at processes and procedures to see where there is room for improvement and presenting your ideas to your boss. It might even mean taking on an assignment that no one else really wants but you know you can do in your sleep without interrupting your dreams. By seeing things as opportunities rather than problems, you can fine tune your problem resolution skills to the point where the boss might eventually come to you for advice rather than the reverse. What boss wouldn’t love that?
A blog dedicated to the development of organizations that are founded on sound business principles with smart, caring leaders and passionate and productive employees. Topics include career development, leadership, management, employee –employer relations, and human resource management. Target audiences include organizational leaders, managers and supervisors, human resource professionals, and employees from all professions and levels.
Without further ado, the first post:
When was the last time you wanted to impress your boss? This morning? Last week? When you first got your job? If you are like most people, you spend a substantial amount of time every day trying to impress your boss. You may not even think about it much, but every time you do what you are asked to do, every time you do it when are asked to do it, and every time you do it how you were asked to do it, you are hoping to impress your boss. You may think that you are just doing your job or, at a minimum, just trying to stay out of trouble, but admit it, deep down, don’t you really want your boss to look heavenward every day and give thanks that he was smart enough to hire you?
And for the cynics in the world, and you know who you are, you may think you couldn’t care less about impressing your boss. You may be thinking, “Hey, I do my job, I get paid, and I go home. That’s it.” But the fact is, that’s not it. Your boss has the capability of influencing your career in so many ways. Hope to get a pay raise? Hope to get a promotion? Hope to even get a better job somewhere else? Your boss can make the difference between getting any of those things or not. And, on a really basic level, your boss can make the difference between having a good day at work and being miserable. Impressing the boss is really important but it’s not really hard because, the fact is, most bosses are just not that complicated.
Tomorrow, the first of the twelve things bosses want most.