founder of naked leader

How to Lead your Boss (without them even knowing, or caring)

Where to Read – Away from the office!

Where to Listen – Ditto!

How to Lead your Boss (without them even knowing or caring)

Note – “her” refers to “him or her”

  1. Tell her how you would like to be led – in terms of style, behaviour and what you want to be empowered to do. On empowerment, be specific with real examples.
  2. Know her top three priorities – everything you do must relate to one or more of these (one will be status/power and another will be make/save money for the company – what’s her third?).
  3. Impress – get close to those that are close to her. Never run her down to anyone – she WILL hear about it – in this regard, trust no-one. If you know someone always repeats stuff, then tell that person what you want your boss to hear (“in confidence” – or it’s not worth repeating).
  4. Past behaviour = future behaviour. Soon you will give her the answers before you are asked the questions.
  5. See the world through the eyes of your boss’s boss – the person your boss most wants to impress.
  6. No surprises – ever. Ensure she knows what she needs to know, from you.
  7. Use the “Three-Minute Drill” to deliver concise proposals in six steps and three minutes (max).
  • Describe the situation or scenario in 60 words or less.
  • State the implications of the situation and why it matters in 60 words or less – what are the financial consequences?
  • Provide an achievable task to be performed in 60 words or less.
  • Provide three options for accomplishing the task in 150 words or less.
  • State your recommendation for the choice you believe to be best in 60 words or less.
  • Justify your decision and why it is worth the risks in 60 words or less including the clear outcome and what it means in financial terms.

With love and best wishes to my CEO, and to you



13 Responses to How to Lead your Boss (without them even knowing, or caring)

  1. Knowing your boss as closely as that is hard and yet I get the point, work out what makes them tick and you could get into their good books and they could look on you more favourably.
    It happens a lot in companies, it’s known as shmoozing with the boss.
    It’s never good to slag the boss, so I agree with that, don’t do it in front of others, it could cost you your job.

  2. 60 words or less, written or spoken?
    Speaking 60 words is not easy.
    Written means you can be more concise and effective with your words but then your best might not feel you are comfortable if you can’t sum it all up in an elequent way in a succinct manner.
    So which is it?

    • Spoken, Neil, and no, not easy – one has to be able to arrive at the point – let me know how you get on – David

  3. To get to know your boss that intimately is not easy.
    Surely, you would have to go ‘quite far’ with them to be able to know exactly what they are thinking and why?
    So what is it you need to do to get there?
    Interesting one.

  4. Through the eyes of your bosses boss.
    Again a difficult one without a real knowledge of what they want out of life and how they have gone about getting it.
    Very difficult as you would have to really delve into their life and has anyone really got the time to do that?

    • Thanks Chris – not that much delving needed. There is a very clever, psychologically devious way get anyone to reveal exactly what they want. Just listen to what they say each and every day – and I mean, really, really listen to the words they use! DT x

  5. I agree David, not enough people really listen to what is going on around them in the office because they are too engrossed in their own agenda.
    I tried the theory today and guess what…it works.
    I really listened and found out a lot about my boss that i didn’t know, little snippets of info here and there from conversations, ie, he likes golf and i even found out he is a Mason! didn’t really think they were still around!
    Really amazing what you can find out if, as you say, you really listen.

  6. It’s not necessarily that important to get to know your boss.
    What is important is that you do enough to please them while getting the job done effectively.
    Being a vital member of the team can be achieved without knowing what your boss has for breakfast.
    Unless of course you feel so passionately about getting up the ladder in your business that you end up deciding that having your bowl of Weetabix across the kitchen table from the person who has a huge influence on your career is worthwhile!
    I can’t imagine that knowing which shower gel they use and which side of the bed they prefer to sleep in counts for that much.

    • Thanks Robert – it all depends on the outcome you want, and I am not suggesting anything as extreme as you are! The only question is this -does knowing and leading your boss help or hinder you in your career ambitions? If it helps, then do it. If it hinders, then don’t. David

  7. I would not want to know my boss that well.
    Too many things about hi I don’t like already.
    Would not want to find out more!

  8. I ignored this post @ first because I am self-employed. And then I realised it was really crucial to read it … Got me thinking about whether I am leading myself as well as the best boss I ever had. This was Alan Jones OBE of TNT Express, CEO of 45k people. If I ever had a ‘boss boss’ again (unlikely, my appraisals, pay rises and days off are much better than b4… ) I would ask her to lead me as Alan did, which was to stretch us to our limits and beyond, while supporting us to the max. He taught me that one without the other is useless. Find it very hard sometimes to get that balance right, now that I am working for myself. Plenty to ponder, time to find a mentor like Alan maybe? Thanks David T for getting me thinking (again…). David Hx

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