4 Things You Need To Tell Your Boss Monthly

The business world is moving faster than ever. It is more ambiguous. Knowledge has an ever shortening shelf life. Information changes in a nanosecond.

How often I would get caught up in my job…doing what needed to be done to exceed all expectations… putting out fires, motivating employees, creating loyal customers…bringing exceptional value to my company. So what if I didn’t keep telling my boss what I was doing or trying to suck up to him like some others? I had important things to do for the company. He knew I was working hard… doing great things. He didn’t need me to keep reminding him. Or did he?

You need to know on a timely basis the health of critical plans and their impact on the financial results. Your boss and the board need to know. Without it they are left to creating their own opinions of how well things are going and what needs to be done… including how well you are doing your job. The health of the business depends on timely… relevant… information. Your leadership image and career depends on you providing relevant updates to your boss on a timely basis.

The Challenge: Just the Right Amount Of The Right Information At The Right Time

The challenge is to determine what information is important.
Too much information is as bad as too little. Most leaders and boards don’t have time…and won’t take it… to read through pages of details or listen to drawn-out explanations. Like Sgt Friday on that old detective series Dragnet they want “Just the facts”.

The 4 Things You Need to Tell Your Boss

Put your self in the board’s seat. What would they want to know? It starts with the business plan and the strategic plan that identifies what needs to be done to achieve the goals. Identify the few critical activities that will drive success and report on their status.

Numbers Count

Everything must tie back to the financial results. If it doesn’t then why do it? The metrics track how well you are doing against key objectives and indices such as orders, revenue, costs, through put, employee churn numbers etc. Make the status clear. Highlight deviations from the plan.

Why this is important Financial results are what drives the business. Headcount and spending budgets are limited and are assigned somewhat arbitrarily. Leaders and board members want to know that resources are being focused on the right activities. You need to make sure they can clearly see they are getting the “bang for the buck” from your organization.

Critical Actions Versus Plan

Only highlight the actions that are critical to the success of your plan…not every little thing that was done. How does it impact the financial results? If you are behind what is the impact and what is your plan to get it back on track or minimize the negative impact? What unique, creative or extra ordinary actions are being taken to achieve success and how do you relate the actions to the top or bottom line.

Why this is important: Others want to know if the right things are being done to continue the success of the business and what is being done to make it better in the future. It provides a comfort factor knowing what is going on and that you are clearly in control of the results. When things are not going according to plan, having a leader who understands the issues and clearly and confidently articulates a recovery plan provides comfort. Excellent leaders demonstrate they are taking control of any situation and not offering excuses.

People Make It Happen

Relate the actions of individuals and teams to the results. What have people done to achieve the results. What are you doing to develop your people and how is that contributing to the financial results.
What are the outstanding or notable things that your team has done and why is they important. What individual actions or behaviors are worth mentioning?

Why this is important: Even though it rolls off leaders’ tongues too easily and many times is not supported by their actions “Our greatest resource is our people” is a reality in most companies. Leaders and board members want to know that the workforce is efficient, effective and stable and the right mix to deliver the results…and that you are keeping it that way. Every leader can always use more people. It is critical that you show you are focused on productivity and judicial use of limited resources…and where needed demonstrate the ROI of adding talent.
The successes of your team reflects on your leadership reputation.

Clear Vision

Great leaders do not just react to circumstances. They create the future. A leader has vision. What What trends are happening in the market place that present an opportunity or a threat? What actions do you recommend for the future that will attract more revenue, increase margins or reduce costs? What are the innovations or creativity that you are already deploying to move the yard sticks forward?

Why this is important: Your boss and board members are concerned about future years and what is needed to achieve greater results and fight off competition. They don’t like surprises and need time to plan for capital requirements.They need your perspectives and direction.
It demonstrates your value to the company and increases your worth which affects your future. Don’t wait to be asked.

Make it simple. Create a standard format.

Put together a format that you can easily plug in the numbers and information on at least a monthly basis.

Make it succinct and clear. It’s a snapshot of your function now, and where necessary, a view of future actions. You should aim for one page…. maximum two. In no more that 5 minutes your boss or board member can tell what’s working and what’s not and understand what actions you and your team are taking.

Information is power. Held by one person it is useful. Shared widely it’s power increases exponentially. Use it wisely for the good of your company and your career.

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