Bringing Value To Your Boss
Our charge that we understand as leaders is to motivate teams, develop people, “wow” customers, and build a profitable brand.
We work on employee engagement, training and retention, marketing after the sale, and ensuring each client feels valued as a partner.
Sometimes we focus so much in those we are responsible for, I wonder sometimes if we forget to serve those we are responsible to.
By this, I mean – Have we taken the time to engage our boss?
Bosses have similar, and even more, pressures to contend with. Their scope or responsibility is usually much greater than ours. The burdens and stress most likely are greater than what we face with. But while we try to become enageged leaders by reaching out to our people, those that we report to get forgotten.
Have you ever considered that:
- Part of leadership engagement is engaging from your position up?
- Your boss has the same challenges personally and professionally that you and your staff wrestle with?
- They may have worries or questions about the status of you and your staff – your engagement, your productivity, task management, development, and so on?
- There may be issues that s/he is contending with that you may not know fully and are difficult for them to handle?
- They are counting on you and your people to become a more valued asset to the organization?
- Many countless other factors that play are part in their decisions – ethics, politics, financials, markets – that make their decisions murky and not very clear cut.
- That they may not have many people to confide in or use as a trusted sounding board.
In my experience leaders that are fully aware of their organization are the ones who also bring value to their boss on an individual level. They build a strong wotking relationship with them, one that engenders professionalism yet at the same time allows their boss to feel more informed, empowered, and motivated to navigate through their mission.
Here is what I’ve seen these leaders do to bring value to their boss:
- Work hard to ensure their own responsibilities are well led. They make sure that their boss has nothing to worry about. When a new project or task is given, it’s done and done well. Their people are happy and productive. Financials are being achieved. They take the burden of worry off of their bosses shoulders and place it on their own.
- The see their boss as a business partner. In order for value to be given, one must see the other as a person of value and an ally. They break down any barriers – which may take time – in order to ensure there are no walls preventing the aligning of the two parties. They consider their boss as a teammate.
- They give open and honest communication. These leaders do not give the boss news to tickle their ears. They don’t sugar-coat anything. Nor do they lie. They give the facts straight up so their boss has the most accurate information to make sound decisions from.
- They are problem-solvers and idea-makers. These leaders also bring up solutions or at least some valid suggestions to give more options to their boss. They don’t just dump information and run. They sit and discuss with their boss ways as a team that they can both address the matters at hand,
- An ear is given for their boss to vent. One leader came to their CEO and told them that they were concerned about the executive’s stress level. They offered a chance for the CEO to chat, not as an employee, but as a friend and colleague, and told them they did not need to bring up any confidential issues. What resulted is an opportunity for the CEO to talk about her struggles with certain departments, employee trends, and some issues in her personal life with her kids. As the discussion went, the CEO became more relieved, and thanked the leader for recognizing their burden. She said she works hard on the fine line between professionalism and divulging her struggles, but it allowed her to trust the leader more and she came away refreshed and in a more clear mind to make some sound, critical decisions in the months that followed.
- They understand that true alignment is having everybody engaged and sharing the vision of the organization. It may be that that particular leader is the linchpin to bring the company together. They see the opportunity to bring the boss and staff together and enable the credibility and respect of the boss to grow.
In giving your boss a trusted leader, one who is keen on the health of the entire organization, who looks out for them, and who labors to understand the workings of their job as your boss, you will create a unique synergy that will bring the company together. The value you give to your boss will be given back to you, and your team, in trust, respect, and increased opportunities to handle greater projects and development initiatives.
(image courtesy of muovo.blogspot.com)