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How to Make Your Boss Look Good

One of the most important lessons that you need to learn and put into practice is making your boss look good. Adopting this approach is the fastest way to promotion, higher compensation and a better all-around way of life, at least in the office. Your direct manager holds the keys to your success whether you like it or not. You can be the smartest, talented and most ambitious employee in your organization, but if your boss is not in your corner, you’ll be in for some pretty disappointing news come bonus time. Below are three tips to help you make your boss look great.


Make Your Boss Look Good (Photo: iStockphoto)


Make it a habit to summarize key takeaways from meetings
Put yourself in your manager’s shoes. If you know that she has ten other things on her plate to deal with, she would likely find a lot of value in your covering her and the rest of the team on important next steps and tasks that arise from meetings. Taking copious and meticulous notes to make sure that you and your boss don’t miss an essential point can keep your boss ahead of things and remain organized.

Prepare presentations one week in advance and anticipate critical questions
Last minute meetings aside, if you have presentations scheduled, do what you can to get a presentation draft, outline or straw man deck ready a full week before you have to go live. Getting material in front of your manager in advance can help save your own time by minimizing the need to rush to make significant changes. Having a presentation draft ready will allow your manager to think through the relevant message and will lead to an optimal final product.

Ask for and post a copy of your manager’s objectives inside your workstation
Aligning your manager’s annual/quarterly/monthly objectives with your own is just good business and a best practice. Understanding what your boss needs to accomplish this year can help you prioritize your own work. Clearly, don’t waste your time on projects that have no bearing on your boss’ objectives.

Taking on the mindset that you and your boss are a team rather than adversaries can make a tremendous difference in your work experience. Making your boss look good should a priority in the same way you prioritize completing and fulfilling your own responsibilities. This approach will keep you on top of your game and ensure a positive outcome at the year’s end.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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