The best way to impress your boss: be great at your job. But there are a million ways to go about doing this.
Some are obvious; others, less so.
Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, says in a recent LinkedIn post that he has “discovered a few decidedly out-of-the-box job hacks that can help take a person’s job performance from good to great.”
These adjustments are small, he says, “but they might just make you stand out from the crowd at work — and help make your boss’ life easier, which is always a good thing.”
Here are two unexpected ways to be great at your job and wow your boss:
Sweat the small stuff.
Holmes writes about how the ’80s rock band Van Halen was famous for an “ingenious quality-control tactic.”
He explains that the group would bury a request in their 53-page tour contract that their backstage green room be supplied with M&M’s in all colors except brown. “If the band discovered a brown M&M, they’d reportedly go nuts and skip the gig entirely,” he writes. “Their logic: If their contractors didn’t read the fine print when it came to candy, how could they possibly be trusted to set up their elaborate, often dangerous, stage shows?”
For any business, Holmes says, “brown M&Ms can be major disasters waiting to happen.”
At Hootsuite, which has over 10 million users, a minor copyright issue, improperly executed email campaign, or “even what seems like a small technical glitch can end up affecting a lot of clients in a short period of time,” he says. “An employee who can be trusted to catch such small errors truly begins to stand out among the crowd.”
Fail at something.
Holmes says there are two types of failure: failure due to incompetence and failure due to ambition. “A good boss recognizes the difference between the two and respects employees who fail for the latter reason,” he writes.
He says he admires employees who “bite off more than they can chew,” and never holds it against them if they don’t succeed in executing an ambitious project or task.
“Without risk, after all, it’s hard for any company to move forward,” Holmes explains. “A good boss knows that failure and innovation are two sides of the same coin.”
He says it’s important to note that not all bosses will appreciate and respect these strategies. “Therefore, these tricks should be applied judiciously — especially if you work in a more conservative or regulated industry,” he explains.
“Having said that, great bosses know that empowered, not fearful, employees are a key to success,” he concludes.