This is Part II of the series I promised you.
Last week I shared some of my thoughts on supporting your boss and being a dream employee. Here are some more universal truths:
- Offer solutions, not problems. My first boss after college, Fred Pfannenstiehl, taught me a valuable lesson. He used to say, “Come to me with your problems, and I expect you to have at least three reasonable solutions along with the problem.” A lot has changed in all these years, but Fred’s advice is still excellent.
- Do what you say you will do. Let me repeat that. Do what you say you will do. If you say you will call, call. If you say you will follow up, follow up. If you have a deadline, meet it. Everyone has extenuating circumstances: illness, family emergencies, weather, and colleagues not honoring their commitments, but most of the time, you need to find a way to honor your work-related obligations. By most of the time, I mean 99% of the time. This is how you are judged. If your boss, colleagues, or organization can’t depend on you, then you aren’t a great employee to have around.
- Keep it light. Smile a lot. No one wants to be around a curmudgeon.
- Say positive things about your workplace, your colleagues, and your products. What if you can’t? Well, then that’s a clear indication it’s past time for you to get a new job. You are getting paid to represent your company. If you can’t represent your company well, find a new company.
- Know your boss’s and your organization’s goals and strive to meet them. Think not only about your tasks, but about advancing the organization as a whole.
How do you help make your manager successful?