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Keeping the Boss Happy

One of the best ways to keep your bosses happy with you long term is to actively work to prevent them from being blindsided with problems. They would much rather hear about it directly from their team than from rumor, their bosses, or worst of all, the media.

Even if it is directly your fault through utter and sheer incompetence, it is better to tell them directly and promptly. Whether or not a solution is in the works or even already completed, having the boss in on it early means they are more likely to protect you and work with you on it.

When boss hears about a problem in their area of responsibility through the rumor mill and is caught flat-footed, they look like an idiot at the same time they need to find a solution. This is not good. The demand for an accounting from subordinates is much stronger and less forgiving. Regardless of how a boss might feel, they are not God, but they don’t like having it revealed “outside the family.” A good team member works to make the entire team look golden to the outside while working from within to make the appearance and reality match.

A good boss works to make the team look good, and a good team ensures the boss looks good, and so on. This is a reputation loop, and thus it is in everyone’s best interest usually therefore, to keep the boss in the loop.



  1. What does SDG stand for?

    1. "SDG" is how Bach signed all of his music. It means "Soli Deo Gloria" or "To God alone be the glory." I thought it appropriate as a reminder of my purpose in writing.