Regardless of your rank in the Army, you will have a boss. Even Generals have a boss.
It’s important to remember that whether you lead one person on ten thousand, you still are part of someone else’s team, too.
Not only do you have a responsibility to make your team successful, but you have the responsibility to help your supervisor’s team be successful, too.
Today, I want to teach you a simple question you can ask your boss frequently, to make life easier for the two of you, and to improve your working relationship.
That question is “what can I do to make your life easier, boss?”
I used to ask that question all the time while I was in the Army, and I have to tell you that it worked like hotcakes.
You see, your boss is probably a lot like you.
Yes, you might have different responsibilities, personalities, skill-sets, and leadership styles, but you also have a few things in common.
Your boss has a lot on their plate. They are tired, maybe burnt out. They are managing lots of Soldiers and leaders and are sometimes overwhelmed. They’re trying to put 80 pounds of work into a 40 pound bag and are struggling to get EVERYTHING done.
It really doesn’t matter if you are a low ranking Private or a two-star General. Everyone is busy, especially in the ARNG and USAR.
Therefore, when you ask your boss “what can I do to make life easier for you?” good things will happen.
First and foremost, your boss will know you care about them being successful.
In addition, you will probably be the ONLY direct report they have that asks them this question.
That will make you stand out above your peers very quickly.
In addition, it shows that you are willing to take on some additional responsibilities and do what most of your peers aren’t willing to do.
Will some of your peers think you are kissing butt by doing this? Maybe. But, who really cares?
I don’t think it’s kissing butt. I think it’s a wise move.
Think about it this way, would you like to have a few of your direct reports ask YOU this question every single day?
I’m sure you would. Heck, I know I would.
Following this advice really helped me launch my career. And here’s the kicker. Most of the time, my boss didn’t ask me to do anything or give me an additional assignment when I asked the question.
Sometimes, they did, but I’d bet that every ten times I asked this question, I might have been given a task once.
Here’s the bottom line. Be DAMN GOOD at what you do and make sure you go the extra mile and try to help out your boss whenever you can. Find out what they need help with and HELP them.
When you help them succeed, you will become successful! You will also learn new skills and be a team player at the same time.
These are just my thoughts. What do you think about this advice of asking your Army boss what you can do to make their life easier? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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