Whether you work for a boss or are self-employed where your boss is your customer, you are always trying to follow instructions, deliver results, and manage expectations. We’ve all been in the situation where our boss expects more from us. But alas, he can’t do anything about it since the rains are in your hands.
But what do you mean rains? What does “more” mean if I deliver what he asked for? It’s often too subjective…
Often, just following what your boss asked you to do will hardly ever result in achieving results beyond their expectations. It usually results in mediocre results that won’t please anyone but also won’t cause someone to lose their job.
The relationship between you and your manager is that of teammates with a clear leader. Since your manager is in charge of delivering results to the higher ups, he needs to convey a clear message to you and make sure that you can deliver the results he expects.
Furthermore, since your manager is a leader, he’s quite occupied with other things (like leading and managing). As a result a conflict occurs between expectations and deliverables. On one hand, your boss wants to surprise the higher ups and wants to provide them with great results; on the other, they rely on other people to do the surprising.
Contrary to what we think, our managers don’t want to get what they asked for (at least most of the time). They want us to listen to what they got to say, acknowledge it (which helps them confirm that the message went through)… Ignore it – and wow them instead! That’s what they really want…
In the movie The Smurfs Neil Patrick Harris plays a young ambitious marketing guy who got promoted into a VP role, he tries to appease his demanding boss Odlie (Sofia Vergara), owner of a large cosmetic corporation who halfheartedly just fired the last marketing VP because ‘he gave her what she want, not what she asked for’.
This dilemma created a lot of distractions for the young VP until he got inspired by the Smurfs and created an ‘out of the box’ idea…which he abandoned of course to play it safe.
Lucky for him, one of the Smurfs fumbled on his computer and accidentally sent the ‘out of the box’ version which resulted in him making his boss happy and asserting his place in the company.
The moral of the story is that you can always appease your bosses by giving them what they want, but you will wow them if you just think for them – and provide something beyond what they expect.
Don’t settle for providing what’s expected from you… and don’t think that by following your manager’s instructions you’ll be able to appease him and get the recognition you seek. People who follow are abundant, people who “wow” are too few and far between.
Tips to help you ignore your managers and still wow them:
1# Don’t accept things at face value.
2# Promote initiatives you believe in without concern to Naysayers
3# Read between the lines and add the surprisingly unexpected into the mix…
4# Be painfully honest with yourself and others; pick up a fight and remove taboos so you’ll be able to deal with issues out in the open
5# Or just by take ownership of what you do!
Until next time.