If you are focused on pleasing your boss, you are probably wasting valuable energy.
Of course, you want to win the trust and confidence of your manager (and everyone else.) But trying to look good can be a huge distraction from adding value to the enterprise, contributing to the team, or taking an important (if unpopular) stand. And when you do these things, you earn trust for integrity, hard work, and acumen.
Instead of pleasing your boss, put your manager to work as a highly valued resource. Be a demand on him or her to help achieve objectives that are important and require his senior support. Paradoxically, the more you use your boss to achieve something positive that otherwise could not be accomplished, the more valued your boss will feel.
Some people refuse to get their boss involved. “Shouldn’t I be able to handle this myself?” Sure, if you can succeed without assistance, just make it happen. But if you are not tackling projects that require the active support of senior people, you are not playing a big enough game. Raise your standards.
I urge my leadership clients to see their managers as resources who are ready and eager to help achieve something valuable. It’s part of their job, and it shows that you can engage them powerfully without depending on a title.
How can you use your manager well as a vital resource?