Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Just Say Yes

Laurie Reuttimann wrote a great post recently about how she always says Yes to her boss.  That came out a bit wrong but you know what I mean.

The point is that the boss is... the boss.  And chances are 'yes' is one of his or her favorite words. 

Saying yes to your boss may be one of the best pieces of career advice ever, although a recent post by Judith Lindenberger about the importance of networking is also one of my top 5. 

But what about how empowerment and autonomy are key to engagement and motivation?  And don't we know by now that micromanagement kills creativity?

Yeah, yeah, go work for yourself.  Just kidding.  The point is that saying yes to your boss does not mean you aren't empowered at work.  In fact, assuming your boss is basically a decent person, the opposite is usually true.

I once had a manager who liked to have final approval of everything.  And I mean everything.  He was nice enough but he wanted to know what was going on and be in charge.  At first this rubbed me the wrong way because I tend to run off with a task and not show up again until it's done or I need help.  But he was my boss so I sucked it up.

I started meeting with him for about 15 minutes every morning to let him know what I was working on, where things stood and what I planned to do next.  Occasionally he would ask me to do something differently but not very often.  For the most part, sharing the information with him and giving him a chance to provide guidance seemed to meet his needs.  And over time his trust increased and I was able to work more independently.

(Ironically, I found myself missing those 15 minute meetings.)

I'm not a perfect soldier.  I'm outspoken.  I don't always agree and will say so.  On  rare occasions I can be sarcastic.  But like Laurie, when my boss asks I say yes.

*Unless there's a really, really, really good reason to say no.  And I mean, good.

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