Why your boss wants your problems

Written By Patrick Connally

A technology, project management and consulting expert. When I'm not blogging and working, you can catch me searching for the joy in the simple things in life. I love connecting with people, so share your ideas, feedback and criticism...#SpreadLove

Why your boss wants your problems

Career progression isn’t accidental (for most of us). Advancing, and navigating upward mobility requires discipline, execution. But, more importantly, unless you’re going the route of the entrepreneur, often times career advancement and promotion is a pull (by those at that level), versus a push (by you).

Want to be a high performer?  I thought you would.  Here’s the secret: Bring your boss your problems (and solutions).

I know this sounds ridiculous, but keep reading for the benefits.

Top 4 reasons to bring your boss your problems:

1. Helps you cultivate your relationship

In this digital age, we forget that relationships are still valuable. Sitting down, and having a conversation with someone is still important.  Productive conversations allow, in a productive fashion,  idea exchange, issue clarification, discussion of options, and can end with a tangible path forward (even if it’s more research).  This gives insight into their train of thought, their method of processing things, and how you can best collaborate with them.

2. Demonstrates ownership of your role

Your boss isn’t worried about the same things that you’re worried about. That nefarious ‘other duties as assigned’ at the bottom of your offer letter exists for a reason.  Your employer wants to stretch your experience and make sure you’re able to grow, and handle additional job duties as the business model changes.

You’re getting paid to worry about the things your boss doesn’t have time to focus on – remember that! Identifying challenges, and proactively thinking of how to address those issues shows you’re engaged and owning your contribution, and impact on, business operations.

3. Shows you know the business

There’s always an adjustment period when you settle into any new job, but at a certain point, you’ve got to commit by vesting yourself fully in the who, what, when, where, how, why, and what’s the impact of your organization. Once you make the transition from pure execution of your documented roles and responsibilities, to applying  your knowledge and expertise to the business challenges, you’ll begin to establish more credibility internally (and potentially externally).

4. Strengthens team dynamics

This last suggestion assumes you’re brave enough to share topics with co-workers. I fully advocate this concept.  Seeking counsel from co-workers brings a broader, fuller, more holistic perspective to the issue at hand.  This is a great way to engender trust with team members. Recognizing your team members play a critical role solving challenges; it proves that you’re vested more in the ‘we’ and ‘us’ rather than the ‘I’ or ‘me’.

Moving Forward

No business runs problem free, so expect issues.  How you handle these problems is always going to be an indicator of your growth potential.  Remember, a problem is an opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge, skill, creativity, and passion for your work.  Sharing those things with your boss – live, and in person – is a great way to highlight several of the intangibles that are often dealmakers or dealbreakers for career growth.

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