(Nearly) everybody in the business world has a boss.
So naturally there are a lot of people out there trying to make great impressions and move up the ladder of success.
But the reality it, only so many succeed. The big question is, what separates those who get the promotion versus those do don’t? Why do some make it look so easy, while others seem to never get over the hump?
I’ll tell you this, and a lot of it comes from my own experience – it’s really pretty simple, if you practice these 10 actions to impress your boss:
Be on time. Nothing, I mean nothing, is more penalizing than being habitually late. There is a lot of truth to the saying “90% of success is showing up” – that is, provided it isn’t after the appointed hour.
Keep your promises, and over deliver too. This is like mom and apple pie, I know, but getting the boss to trust you explicitly is absolutely critical. You need to be counted on when the pressure is on. And that makes you indispensable – the kind of folks that get the promotions.
Display common courtesy, especially by returning phone calls, texts & E-mails. In this day and age, doing this consistently actually makes you stick out. Those “Thank You”s and “I’m sorry”s add up in the “who’s a better person for the promotion” derby.
Show quiet confidence, and take “can’t” out of your vocabulary. A little positivity goes a long way out there – and trust me, you will rarely get an outright impossible task, and even if you do there’s probably an alternative to suggest. Let the boss be the person to make the “can’t do” call.
Use the language appropriately – both verbally and in your writing. Bad grammar and spelling is right up there with punctuality as promotion killers. Proof read your stuff – and use spellcheck. It all matters!
Disagree and challenge respectfully. You can disagree with the boss, or even say “no”. Just be prepared to back it up, with a statesman-like flair. But if the play is called and it goes against you, despite your feelings you need to move on, and execute. Remember this one, always: There’s no pouting in the conference room.
Get the big picture, then figure things out on your own. Bosses hate it when they have to explain a task in great detail to someone. Top promotion candidates show their meddle by minimizing supervisor explanation time and filling in the blanks themselves.
Tell the boss your ambition. Yes, you can do this – why not tell your boss what you want (respectfully, of course)? This falls under the all-too-true saying “if you don’t ask you don’t get”.
Audition for your future role by being a thought leader. This is especially effective in crisis situations when the boss may be tied up with multiple issues. Take a little initiative and help out with other teammates, offer to “offload” some of the bosses work, or make suggestions in team meetings.
Focus on the task at hand like a laser beam. I know it’s really, really, really hard these days to put down the handheld and stay away from texts, E-mail, Twitter or Facebook, especially on conference calls, but when the boss is talking, stay focused. You can easily derail any career momentum by being MIA when called upon, nose down in your last Tweet about the movie you saw last night.
One final suggestion – post these tips somewhere where you can see them every day, and eventually memorize them. Then practice, practice, practice. You’ll find yourself getting those “congrats on the promotion” notes in no time.