Note: This article is part of the series on Tips for Managing Your Relationship With Your Boss

Tip: Start Managing Your Relationship With Your Boss to create a more rewarding and harmonious workplace. Improve your relationships and get better bonuses, increases and promotions by working smarter, not harder.

This is the single most important thing you should know about your boss, and chances are it is the one thing you don’t know as well as you should.

"Management by objective works - if you know the objectives. Ninety percent of the time you don't."

- Peter Drucker

If you learn:

What your boss’s objectives and key performance areas are, and,

Which they regard as most important,

… you will be more effective at getting what you want from your boss.

The Boss Objectives exercise is a three-step process:

  1. Identifying your boss’s objectives and deliverables.
  2. Ascertaining how your performance and outputs support your boss’s deliverables.
  3. Confirming your boss’s reporting requirements from you.

First, Identify Your Boss’s Objectives

You may be asking yourself how you are possibly going to find out all this information about your boss. It’s not as difficult as you may think. People tend to be quite forthcoming about their objectives and deliverables if you just ask. So meet with your boss and explain how greater insight into their objectives and deliverables will help you to align your performance and input be more effective at helping them achieve those objectives and deliverables.

Secondly, Identify Your Role

For each of your boss’s objective, ask yourself how your boss defines your role in terms of supporting his/ her deliverables.

Lastly, Identify What Reporting Your Boss Requires

Part of the nerve system of organizations consists of management reports. You may "love them or hate them" but the reality is that corporate reports are the Wall Street Journal of the organization.

The saying is that if it wasn't reported in the Journal then it didn't happen. You can be hard worker who is effective at delivering results. But if these results do not get reported then the visibility of these results is greatly diminished. You should remember that your boss has got his own deliverables and the rest of the team to think about. Something that may seem very significant to you is going to be a fraction of his entire dominion.

P.S: The best forum for finding out about your boss's goals and objectives is your weekly one on one with your boss.


Do you have any questions, comments or tips about identifying your boss's goals and objectives or about managing up? Please share in the comments below.

Boss Camp

Being a boss is a tough job - you have the world on the shoulders. You are the super hero that keeps the lights on and the team together. WWW.BOSS.CAMP is support for super hero’s like you so you can get your team to do more of their jobs, leaving you time to do your own.  The program includes topics such as:

  • How to motivate employees,
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