Career Success Advice on How to Impress Your Boss

I saw an article by David Sneed, CEO of Alpine Fence, in the on line version of Colorado Business Magazine week.  I loved this article.  It is full of great career success advice.  I got it touch with Dave and asked if I could use the article as a guest post here.  He agreed.

This is my last bit of common sense career advice for you in 2011.  As I always do, I’m shutting down for the last two weeks of the year.  It’s time for me to rest and recharge before I hit it hard again in January.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and that 2012 brings you all the life and career success you deserve.

Now on to the article…

The Top 11 Ways to Impress Your Boss
David Sneed

When you see a “Top 10” list you can usually assume that either the writer is lazy, or he’s just read a book about how much people love “Top 10” lists. Can’t it be both?

I wrote this a few years ago for an employee I was about to fire. I wanted a way to tell him why he was losing his job, but in a way that would help him understand what it takes to be successful.

The funny thing about this list is that you don’t have to do all, or even most, of them to be successful. I hope he got the message.

1. Take the initiative

If you can do the right thing without being told, you lift a huge burden off your boss’s shoulders – and he’ll have more time for naps.

2. Correctly complete the task you’re assigned

When the boss gives you something to do he doesn’t want to wonder if it’ll be done. He should know that it will.

3. Don’t give your boss a problem she has to solve for you

She has other things to do. The squeaky wheel gets replaced.

4. Do more than you’re asked to do

This one trait will set you above 99% of everyone. Too often we forget that our job is to help our employer succeed – and that our duties include finding something productive to do when there’s no task assigned. Clean something!

5. Stop multitasking; you aren’t good at it

Study after study has proven that doing more than one thing at once lessens the quality of each thing you’re doing. If you are sure you’re the exception, look up “Dunning-Kruger Effect.”

6. Figure it out

Stop pestering the boss for help. It’s your job, so figure out how to get it done. If you need his help, why does he need you?

7. Ask questions

Notice that this is different from #6. The questions you should ask are ones like “Can I have this to you by tomorrow?” and “May I bring you my idea for making the clocks faster?” (Assuming you build clocks.)  Avoid questions like “Will you type this for me, I’m kind of sleepy?” or “Can I bring my cats to work?”

8.  Have an opinion when asked

“When asked” is the important part. Your boss will want to know if his idea to round π to 3.2 is really okay. Tell him the truth, even if the truth is: “Um, probably not.”

9.  Learn

Unless you like where you are, you have to become more skilled. Learn your boss’s job.

10.  Be enthusiastic

Enthusiasm covers a lot of faults. When we send the dog to fetch a stick and he comes back with a rock we forgive him because he’s excited. I’ll tell you right now that if my dog brought back a rock and was apathetic about it – I’d be pet shopping by suppertime.

11.  Be efficient

Thomas Edison used to have meetings in the other guy’s office. His reason: “It’s easier for me to leave his office than for him to leave mine.”

The career success coach point here is common sense.  Your boss can be your biggest advocate – or your worst enemy.  Work hard to make your boss your ally in your career success journey.  David Sneed CEO of Alpine Fence offers 11 great pieces of common sense career advice on how to impress your boss.  1) Take the initiative; 2) Correctly complete tasks you’re assigned; 3) Don’t give your boss problems to solve for you.  4) Do more than you’re asked to do.  5) Stop multi taking – you’re not good at it; 6) Figure it out; 7) Ask questions; 8) Have an opinion when you’re asked; 9) Learn; 10) Be enthusiastic; 11) Be efficient.  These common sense tips are my Christmas present to you.  I won’t be posting until after the holidays.  I hope that this holiday season brings you lots of peace, joy and happiness and that 2012 brings you the life and career success you deserve.

That the career advice I found in David Sneed’s thoughts on how to impress your boss.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you, and I appreciate you.  And, I want you to become the career success you deserve to be.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site last September.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.


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