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Sean Luce

2013 Resolution: Make Your Boss Look Good


Most of us make New Years resolutions, or at least attempt to make them. The majority of resolutions never get past the planning stage. Why not make a resolution that will not only help you this year, but also in years to come? Resolve in 2013 to make your boss look good. The number one priority for any employee should always be to make their boss look good. When I ask a manager what their most important duty is, the answer is usually, Take care of my customers and manage my salespeople. Managers rarely ever say that their primary focus is to make their boss look good.

In most instances, a managers opinion about their reps determines whether the rep will be promoted, transferred, or fired. Lets face it: If a rep can't make their boss look good, they are probably headed for the door.
Here are four serious Make Your Boss Look Good ideas for reps and managers who want to have a future career with their company.

1) Its about the people stupid! Media companies do not just run on Nielsen, Arbitron, unique visitors, or circulation numbers. They run on people. When is the last time mediocre managers hired salespeople with superior talents? Most insecure managers hire people who are incapable of taking their job in the future. Hiring weak employees will secure the managers position, and it will also secure their exit visa from the company when they have a boss who demands results and accountability. According to Harvard Business School, the top three things managers hate to do are fire somebody, fire somebody, and fire somebody. Assuming this fact is true, then we must make sure we hire correctly.

2) Use common sense. Trust your instincts most of the time. Likewise, think through situations completely, but remember that over-analysis can lead to paralysis. The best decisions are formed by experience. Do not be afraid to take chances. Pepsi demands that their managers make some mistakes, but they also demand the managers use some common sense. An example of this policy happened recently when Pepsi management decided to stage an expensive concert at a stadium that the company owned. The concert was not underwritten for the deposit money before the due date, but the managers insisted that they could get the funding. The Pepsi managers did not get the funding, and they were left to cover the $220,000 shortfall in ticket sales. Trust your gut, but do not convince yourself out of desperation that a situation will be a winner. A gut instinct is usually right.

3) Eliminate the wrong people. The biggest disservice we do to our company is to hang on to sales reps who are not producing. A manager is not doing the company or the rep a favor by carrying someone who is not cut out for sales. Likewise when a sales rep has made a decision to leave, talking that rep into staying onboard with a counteroffer rarely works. The rep eventually leaves. This non-producing employee can also keep the manager from moving up the ladder.

4) Inject some laughter. Lack of humor is usually a sign that a company is in trouble, headed for trouble, or deserving to be in trouble. Managers who inject a sense of fun into the workplace usually end up on top of the ladder. A manager that I know often uses humor with his sales staff. For instance, he runs video clips before the sales meeting which relieves the tension caused by not being on budget for the month. He sends the reps humorous emails (clean of course) on a daily basis. A funny thing usually happenshis staff often exceeds their sales goal for that month. Pick up a book on humor and start planning some laughter in the sales department or company. According to Mark Twain, humor is the best weapon we have, and the one we use the least.

Resolve in 2013 to make your boss look good. It will in turn bring untold returns to you and your career.

Sean Luce is the Head International Instructor for the Luce Performance Group and can be reached at

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So your boss will be missed the axe that falls on you during the next downsizing. . .

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