What the boss expects of you: Part three

August 15, 2007, 12:44 PM UTC
Fortune


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I don’t have a lot of time to write this. Aren’t you busy? What are you doing wasting your time reading this?

What Your Boss Expects of You:

#3: Be honest.

Don’t get me wrong. He or she doesn’t care if you’re honest with other people. Or maybe he or she does, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. She or he simply wants you to be honest with him or her.

Like:

> if you promise to deliver numbers, and the numbers aren’t coming in as planned, get with him or her early and let him know that she or he is going to have a problem on his or her quarterly earnings conference call with about 300 analysts;

> if you say you’re in Bangladesh, you shouldn’t actually be in Petaluma. You’d be surprised how many people at all levels are lying when they tell you where they are.

> if the thing is due on Monday, and he or she drops by on Friday afternoon and says, “Everything under control?” don’t say, “Sure!” unless you really mean it. Better to get your ass kicked beforehand than afterwards, when there is nothing you can do about it.

> if he’s about to give a presentation at review time that is going to lead to his destruction, you will tell him about it;

> if he or she has snot on his or her nose, you will offer a hankie;

> if there is an enemy at his or her back, you will give a teenie heads-up.

That kind of thing. Your boss expects you to tell the truth when it counts. The rest of the time? Tell him or her that he or she looks good in that new suit.