Your Job is to Make Your Boss Look Good

I’ve always believed that my job was to make my boss look good (but, not to make his/her life easy 😉 ).

My team must believe this as well, as they are always all over this. In my job there is an enormous amount of metrics to hit. You can imagine, doing a large and ambitious project makes scorecards important.

Being a data company of tech geeks makes metrics a bit promiscuous.

My team is so outstanding that I must confess, I rarely check my metrics. I know they are great because my team is great, and they will tell me if there is an issue I should know about.

Making my boss look good is a bit more complex than meeting metrics. For him, that’s table stakes. What makes my boss look good is delivering a set of products that make people take notice. Products that deliver measurable business value. Products that inspireamaze, and highlight the unique value of his organization.

So, this is what my peers and I do — we focus on getting it right and making it happen.

Some days this lofty goal seems completely out of reach. Other days we surprise ourselves with our own success. And then there are days when we achieve a grand slam — an opportunity to make not just a boss but their boss and their boss look good. Those days are great days. Those are the days you are reminded that it was worth the fight.

Those are the days that will pay off in much bigger ways than looking good yourself.

I wish you all the joy that comes from making someone important to you look good. It rocks!

This blog was originally posted on TalentedApps. 

How do your employees represent your company brand?

Awhile back, I attended a Bay Area Executives meetup panel moderated by Ray Wang.

The topic was  influence (interesting side note – I was thinking this but the panel was about this).

One thing that stuck with me, was a comment about how employees are one of the biggest influencers for a company.

In the HR space, I often hear corporate brand discussed as it relates to recruiting.  Referral programs are often used to increase candidate fit  (typically the fit is improved both for the job skills as well as the culture).

More advanced companies think about employees and brand far outside the recruiting space.  They realize that, their employees also impact the goodwill of their brand in the marketplace.

So it got me wondering about the idea of HR’s role as keeper of the brand.

Given the impact of social media, the reach of a single employee has grown dramatically.  What are companies doing to harness this trend, to benefit their brands?

What are the best practices you have seen in this area?  How has HR played a role in increasing the visibility and  reputation of the corporate brand.   What have you seen work*?

How are great HR departments helping to make sure every employee can articulate the value proposition of the company to their network?  Who is making this shift work for them, and who is missing an opportunity?

How big is the opportunity?



* I’m looking for examples other than Zappos

What Do You Mean?

Seriously, what are you trying to say?

And more importantly, why do I care?

I coach on this topic a lot, but I’m always amazed at how few people get this right. We seem so hard wired to give a lot of information about what we know or what we think.

Here is a clue — if I’m a senior executive, I don’t really care what you know or what you think. I care about what it means to me and what I should think.

So, when you are communicating to someone above you in the management chain, you need to write it from their point of view — not yours.

The higher up the management food chain, the more important it is to get this right.

[Briefly] Answer these questions:

  • What they need to know
  • Why they need to care
  • What you want them to do

If you are not giving this information at the top of your email or presentation, you are wasting their time.

Please do not be known as someone who wastes senior leaders’ time — that’s not a great personal brand.

This blog was originally posted on TalentedApps.

How’s That Working Out for You?

If you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I am all about managing your own career.

Leaving your career to chance, or even to your company/manager, is risky at best.

Seth Godin went one further to suggest that as the boss of your own career, you might suck.


But certainly, a great question.

How are you doing managing your career? Are you a good or a bad steward of your talents and your progress?

Are you stretching yourself, taking risks, and growing to give even better results for your company and your boss?

Or… are you taking the easy way out and waiting for someone to notice your “good work.”

So, I wanted to ask. How is it going?

Are you getting the results you expect? Are you a good boss or a bad boss of yourself? Here is a hint, the evidence of being a good boss is what you are able to accomplish and impact.

If you don’t find those things happening, I suggest you might want to get a plan.

This blog was originally posted on TalentedApps.

One more book recommendation

If you are looking to advance your career, and you have the opportunity to read one book this year, I strongly suggest you pick up Rise by Patty Azzarello.

Go ahead and activate your one-click order, I’ll wait.

You might remember, that awhile back I was thinking about role models.  I’ve come to realize that Patty is my role model.

She knows a lot, and is willing to share what she knows to help others.   Her unique perspective is one that is very helpful as I navigate my own career, and I know she will be equally helpful to you.

Congratulations Patty on writing this amazing book, and thank you again for everything you have done for me.

I can’t wait to finish reading this and sharing what I learn with my network.