What your boss expects of you

Whilst performance targets are usually clearly discussed and documented what about the undocumented expectations? What should you be doing beyond your formal job description that will make you indispensable to your boss and to your organisation as a whole?

Author: Vicki Townsley Published: 27 October, 2014

Here are a few tips to build a strong relationship with your boss:

1. Collaborate - overcome differences between you and others so you work together effectively - even if you don't like each other.

2. Lead initiatives - don't be reluctant to associate yourself with unproven ideas, especially those that cross functional or unit boundaries. Raise your hand, and you'll climb the ladder faster than those who don't.

3. Develop your own people - take an active interest in your employees' development as you do in your own- if not more. Go out of your way to criticise and praise your people when they need it. And during performance reviews, supply people with specific, candid, and useful feedback.

4. Stay current - regularly read and watch the news. What happens in the world affects what happens with your team, your marketplace, and your competition. Also know what's going on with your customers - how they're changing, how the competition is changing, and how technology and world events are affecting their strategies. Your customer relationships are key assets: bring them to the table.

5. Drive your own growth - seek perpetual education and development. Not necessarily by going to school, but by finding exposure to new people and ideas. Seek feedback from your boss, and accept demanding assignments.

6. Be a player for all seasons - demonstrate positive behaviours even during the hard times. You'll sustain your ability to motivate and inspire your own people no matter what's going on around you.

(Adapted from 'what your leader expects of you' by Larry Bossidy, Harvard Business Review, April 2007)

positive workplace relationships