Ten Things Your Boss is too Busy to Tell You

You’ve heard from your boss that you’re doing a great job – and that’s probably the truth. But, if your boss had a little more time to sit down with you and talk about the difference-making steps you could take that would get you to the next level, what might he or she say? Here’s a possible list:

1. You’re doing a great job, but you’re too focused on task-based activities. I’d like to see you bring people development and service/product strategy forward. I want to see that more than your ability to manage the day-to-day. What’s your plan?

2. I don’t see a clear succession plan for you. Who are you developing as your next leader/successor?

3.a. You’ve been in this role for 2 years. I’d hate to lose you, but it’s nearly time for you to leave this group for the next step in your leadership and career growth. Where would you like to head next?


3.b. You haven’t moved to the next role because I really need you in this job. I don’t plan to move you forward anytime soon…unless you bring the topic up.

4. Outside perspective is extremely useful to generate ideas and make changes. Stay open to external resources. Don’t get held back by tunnel vision. What external resources are you reading? What classes, presentations, or conferences do you want to attend? Come pitch me on the investment.

5. You haven’t taken a vacation in a while. Take a 3-day weekend at least every 6 weeks and wait no longer than 3 months for a 5-day break.

6. I know you think you can “fix” team member [insert name], but they aren’t the right fit. You should have had them on an exit plan a while ago.

7. There’s a big difference in the level of contributions of a manager compared to a director compared to that of a vice president. There’s a lot more that I need to see from you in the form of strategy and innovation to recommend that you receive a promotion. But, these are also areas that I won’t coach you in. The next step is yours to navigate.

8. Your team is comprised of the colleagues at your peer level. They are just as important to lead as the team you’re directly responsible for. I’m waiting for a leader to emerge among this group … your move.

9. Your salary increase will be 3-8%…until you pitch me for more.

10. At some point, I’ll be moving on. You could be my successor, but we won’t know until you make your interest known.

Could any of these discussion points apply to you? If so, take this week to think about how you plan to raise the topic for discussion with your boss.

Next week, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of remaining an individual contributor compared to leading and managing a team.

– Jackie Simon

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