"Why is this important", you ask? After all you say, "My boss is a complete moron!" Meanwhile some of you reading this are thinking that if your boss got up to the level of moron, that would be a huge improvement over his or her current condition. I have no doubt that many of the people that I have managed over the years are probably thinking the same thing, but nevertheless, I still feel it important to know what your boss really wants from you.
Right now in your organization there are people who suck. You know who they are. (Hopefully it's not you.) These are the people that make managers feel less like they are professionals leading a team of talented individuals, and more like a kindergarten teacher on the first day of school.
The difference is, kindergarten students usually figure things out after a few weeks, while many of the people in the organization who suck, never really figure things out. For example:
Manager: (Sarcastically) "Hey Johnny, we missed you at the morning briefing today. The CEO was there and wondered where you were."
Johnny: "Oh...I didn't know we had a morning briefing."
Manager: (Angrily) "We have a meeting everyday."
Johnny: "I figured it was cancelled."
Manager: (Blood pressure rising dangerously) "Why?"
Johnny: "Because you didn't remind me." Johnny then proceeds to let his boss know that he is going to take a "smoke break."
These are the people that populate the offices of corporate America. These are the very same people that are the reason that HR departments exist and the reason that every document from the human resources department seems to be 100 pages long. These are the people that encourage many managers to take up early retirement...or to try a new career in, say fast food.
So, if you make your boss' job easier and make him look by doing your job, taking initiative and leadership when needed, by being positive and motivating to your co-workers, and not saying or doing anything that is embarrassing to you or to your immediate supervisor(s), you will set yourself apart from the "ding-dongs" in your company who seem to have forgotten who signs the paycheck on the front and who signs the paycheck on the back.
If you want to succeed in your career, be sure to do what you can to make your boss look good. And if you're not sure what exactly would make him or her look good, I would recommend simply asking two questions:
- Is there anything that I am doing now that you would like me to do different?
- Is there anything that I am not doing now, that you would like me to do?