First rule: No brown-nosing allowed.
Getting your boss to love you isn't about sucking up to them. No one likes the teacher's pet. It's about taking initiative and ownership.
People like to complain about their bosses, and say they're bad or don't understand them. But how many people actually sit down with their manager and discuss how to work best together?
In my experiences, not many. If you want your boss to love you, follow these five steps:
1. Ask for a list of best ways to work with them. Learn how they work and think. Find out what their management style is. Ask them how they like to communicate, phone, email, texting, or in person, and when the best time is to talk to them.
2. Provide solutions. No one wants to babysit or hand-hold. Show your understanding of different situations and come up with ways to fix problems. Prove you're someone your manager can rely on.
3. Over-communicate. Give proactive updates, and start with bad news. Talk about deadlines, projects, how you're feeling. Tell them where you stand and discuss any obstacles you're facing. Be open.
4. Under-promise and over-deliver. Always.
5. Be accountable. The best employees get stuff done. They hold themselves accountable to goals and deadlines and deliver a strong product. If you miss a deadline, own it, and talk about it. Never try to cover it up. Learn from it and grow.
A few months ago one of our directors told his team to pretend he was dead. I thought it was great. He empowered them to make their own decisions and own them.
Managers are there to lead and guide their teams and help set their staff up for success, but they want employees to show initiative and make decisions on their own, too. The best managers want to see their teams run and want to feel like they have to catch up to them.
I'm not saying go behind your manager's back and make a big decision without them, but take ownership. Show initiative in your career and create healthy competition with the people around you. Show you can get stuff done on your own. Show them you can handle more responsibility.
Be aggressive, stay competitive, and don't expect someone to hold your hand along the way. That's how you move the needle, and that's what your manager will respect. Accountability. Communication. Execution.