How to enchant your boss and your employees

Guy Kawasaki sums up how to be successful in the workplace in 4 minutes:

How to enchant your boss:

  • When your boss asks you to do something, drop everything and do it.
  • When your boss asks you to do something, turn around a prototype as quickly as possible.  This serves two purposes: a) It shows you dropped everything and b) it helps you check to make sure you’re on track.
  • Deliver bad news early.  And if you must deliver bad news, offer suggestions on how to fix the problem.*

How to enchant your employees:

  • Offer your employees an opportunity master new skills, work autonomously, and give them a higher a sense of purpose.
  • Empower employees to take action.
  • Suck it up.  Don’t ask anyone to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.

* In my experience, when bad news is discovered, it’s best to start an
internal countdown clock and deliver the bad news before the countdown
expires.  Depending upon the severity of the news the countdown may be
“by the end of the hour” or “by the end of the week”.  Within this time
you need to determine a) scope and b) possible solutions.  It may be the
scope is nothing and thus there is no bad news, or the solution is
quickly manageable and thus no bad news.  Or the scope could be much larger than you previously thought, or the solutions much more difficult. Either way, never deliver bad news without
doing your homework first.

And conversely, make sure if you’re
delivering good news it’s marked as good news!  This goes back to something very low-level in our brains.  In every interaction people want to categorize it as good or bad.  They want to know if what you’re saying to them is going to help them or hurt them.  So in email or in person, if you’re conveying good news or bad news, just say what it is right up front.  Especially if it’s email.. don’t wait for the last line of the email–categorize your message right on the first line of the email.  (I make this mistake all the time, it’s a tough one).

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