Seven Ways to Make Sure Your Boss Thinks You’re Doing a Great Job

“Only the curious will learn and only the resolute overcome the obstacles to learning. The quest quotient has always excited me more than the intelligence quotient.”

~ Eugene S. Wilson

Seven Ways to Make Sure Your Boss Thinks You’re Doing a Great Job

By Penelope Trunk

  1. Know your boss’s priorities. If your boss is a numbers person, quantify all your results.  If your boss is a customer-is-first kind of guy, frame all your results in terms of benefits to the customer.
  2. Say no. Say yes to things that matter most to your boss.  Say no to most everything else, and your boss will appreciate that you are focused on her needs.
  3. Communicate the way your boss does. If your boss likes e-mail, use it.  If your boss prefers voice mail, phone in your updates.  Convey information to your boss in the way she likes so that she’s more likely to retain it.
  4. Toot your own horn. Each time you do something that impacts the company let your boss know.  Whatever the mechanism, you need to let your boss know each time you achieve something that matters to her.
  5. Lunch with your boss. If all things are equal, your boss will promote the person she likes the best.  So go out to lunch and talk about what interests her.
  6. Seek new responsibilities. Find important holes in your department before your boss notices them.  Take responsibility for filling those holes and your boss will appreciate your foresight, but also your ability to do more than your job.
  7. Be curious. Remember to take time to read and listen.  Then ask questions when they are not expected; you will make yourself more interesting to be around, and you will elicit fresh ideas from everyone around you.  Your boss will feel like having you on the team improves everyone’s work – even his own – and, after all, that is your primary job in managing up (Trunk, 2007, p. 145-147).

From: Trunk, P. (2007). Brazen Careerist: The New Rules for Success.  New York:  Warner Business Books.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call To Action

One of my readers responded to last week’s Tip, Success is Supposed to Be Fun and Rewarding, sharing that she had not been aligned with her boss’s priorities and goals and was not feeling the love.  If you are in a similar situation or want to ensure you don’t get there, take time this week to put two to three of these ideas into action.