Ever just have that out of sync feeling with your boss, especially when you’re doing your job correctly?
I was struggling with this scenario earlier in my career. I was performing my duties, diligently, at least from my perspective, but something was off – I wasn’t getting feedback, I felt out of alignment, and ultimately found myself on that hamster wheel going nowhere.
Over lunch with a friend, I spoke of my stalemate, and in response, she asked about my job description. And in a quick self-reflective moment, I realized that “my job is to make my boss’s job easier…” We both recognized the illuminated light bulb, agreeing that was more than a good answer, it is the only answer…
And here’s WHY:
It had nothing to do with my boss, or any extra credit points…It solely had to do with me. My turning point was because that defining moment was when I began looking through the lens of a leader. In that moment, I owned it, nobody else!
My compass shifted, along with my actions, my relationship with my manager, and the evolution of my career.
Today, as a leader, a manager, and an employee, I promote this concept and believe in these 3 simple job descriptions for all org charts, job titles, and HR posted job descriptions:
- The Employee’s job is to make their manager’s job easier.
- The Manager’s job is to make their employees’ jobs easier.
- The Leader’s job is to facilitate easy.
Leaders facilitate easy through vision that not only answers direction, but why it matters, coupled with clear objectives that align culture, management, employees, and processes. Leaders facilitate easy through consistent and thoughtful communication, along with a conduit for safe feedback from all ranks.
Managers make their employees’ jobs easier through support, engagement, and thoughtful communication. Easier is accomplished when management grasps and upholds the importance of leading people and managing processes. Mentor, coach, manage…in that order; your employees will thank you and perform with shared fate.
Employees make their manager’s job easier by going beyond their job responsibilities and being leaders. Leadership is defined by action, not job titles. Be a problem solver, not just an identifier. When you look and act through a leadership lens, you are not just making your manager’s job easier, you are making it easier for yourself and those around you. You do that, and you become noticed, essential, and likely promoted!
So, what’s your job description?