What Your Boss Really Wants From You

15 Insights to Improve Your Relationship

Steve Arneson (Author)

Publication date: 05/05/2014

What Your Boss Really Wants From You

* Offers a concise, practical guide to improving your most important work relationship

* Uses fifteen straightforward questions to help you uncover what drives your boss and use what you've learned to take charge of the relationship

* Features real-world examples of people who have used these techniques to improve their relationship with even the most difficult bosses

Whether you're an entry-level employee, a middle manager, or a high level executive, your most important work relationship is the one you have with your boss. If you're connecting well, everything's great; but if you're not getting along, it can be a nerve-wracking and frustrating experience. It's why executive coach Steve Arneson is so often asked: what does my boss want from me? In this book he offers a powerful set of questions to help you get the answer.

But first, Arneson warns you to give up any thoughts of trying to manage or "improve," your boss. It's true, sometimes bosses can be hard to read. They're not always clear about their expectations, act in seemingly inexplicable ways, and can have hidden motives that have nothing to do with helping you achieve your career goals Still, they're not going to change for you-the solution lies in figuring out what makes them tick and adapting your own work style to make the relationship work more effectively.

In this pragmatic and accessible guide, Arneson shows you how to find the answers to fifteen essential questions that will help you understand your boss's motives. The first section, Study Your Boss, features ten questions that will help you figure out your boss's leadership style, goals, work relationships, and other factors that drive his or her behavior. Given that understanding, you'll move on to five questions that reveal How Your Boss Sees You. Finally, you'll bring it all together and develop a plan to Take Responsibility for the Relationship. Vivid real-world examples demonstrate Arneson's advice in action and show clearly how this process can be used to gain a more meaningful, productive, and enjoyable work life.

You can improve your relationship with the boss, but it takes insight, and the right attitude. Following Steve Arneson's straightforward, step-by-step method will help you reduce your stress, advance your career, and make things more pleasant for both of you.

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Overview

* Offers a concise, practical guide to improving your most important work relationship

* Uses fifteen straightforward questions to help you uncover what drives your boss and use what you've learned to take charge of the relationship

* Features real-world examples of people who have used these techniques to improve their relationship with even the most difficult bosses

Whether you're an entry-level employee, a middle manager, or a high level executive, your most important work relationship is the one you have with your boss. If you're connecting well, everything's great; but if you're not getting along, it can be a nerve-wracking and frustrating experience. It's why executive coach Steve Arneson is so often asked: what does my boss want from me? In this book he offers a powerful set of questions to help you get the answer.

But first, Arneson warns you to give up any thoughts of trying to manage or "improve," your boss. It's true, sometimes bosses can be hard to read. They're not always clear about their expectations, act in seemingly inexplicable ways, and can have hidden motives that have nothing to do with helping you achieve your career goals Still, they're not going to change for you-the solution lies in figuring out what makes them tick and adapting your own work style to make the relationship work more effectively.

In this pragmatic and accessible guide, Arneson shows you how to find the answers to fifteen essential questions that will help you understand your boss's motives. The first section, Study Your Boss, features ten questions that will help you figure out your boss's leadership style, goals, work relationships, and other factors that drive his or her behavior. Given that understanding, you'll move on to five questions that reveal How Your Boss Sees You. Finally, you'll bring it all together and develop a plan to Take Responsibility for the Relationship. Vivid real-world examples demonstrate Arneson's advice in action and show clearly how this process can be used to gain a more meaningful, productive, and enjoyable work life.

You can improve your relationship with the boss, but it takes insight, and the right attitude. Following Steve Arneson's straightforward, step-by-step method will help you reduce your stress, advance your career, and make things more pleasant for both of you.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Steve Arneson

Steve Arneson is a nationally recognized speaker, executive coach, and leadership consultant. He founded Arneson Leadership Consulting in 2007 to provide practical solutions for individuals and companies looking to enhance their leadership impact. Prior to that, Steve served as the head of leadership development and talent management at divisions of PepsiCo and Yum Brands, and later at AOL, Time Warner Cable, and Capital One.

Steve has been named one of America’s “Top 100 Thought Leaders on Leadership” and one of the country’s “Top 10 Leadership Consultants” by Leadership Excellence magazine. As a speaker and seminar leader, Steve has inspired thousands of leaders worldwide to take charge of their own development, working with the principles in his first book, Bootstrap Leadership. Steve holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Kansas, a Ph.D in industrial/organizational psychology from the University of Tulsa, and a leadership coaching certificate from Georgetown University. Steve lives with his family in Boulder, Colorado, and can be reached at [email protected]

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Table of Contents

Introduction

STEP 1 Study Your Boss

When and how is he most approachable?

What is his preferred management style?

What behaviors does he reward?

What is he trying to accomplish in this role?

What is he worried about?

What is his reputation in the company?

Whom does he respect?

Where does he have influence?

What is his relationship like with his boss?

What is his primary motivation?

STEP 2 Consider How Your Boss Sees You

What does she value about you?

How vital are you to her mission?

What does she think you need to improve?

How does she represent you to others?

What is her history with you?

STEP 3 Take Responsibility for the Relationship

It Starts with Attitude

Modify Your Story

Communicate Your New Story

Change Your Behaviors

Write a Development Pla

Common Boss/Motive Scenarios

Afterword

Resources

The 15 Insight Questions

The Reflective Exercises

Acknowledgments

Index

About the Author

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Endorsements

“This book is a must-read for both employees and bosses—filled with practical exercises that will make you, your boss, and your company more successful.”
—Helmuth Ludwig, CEO, Siemens Industry Sector

“Steve Arneson understands that while the boss is the team's quar- terback, it is teamwork—built on high-caliber interpersonal relation- ships—that leads to business excellence.”
—Steve Swad, CEO, Rosetta Stone

“Steve Arneson reveals a window into your manager's true motives— just what you need to build a successful partnership with your boss.”
—Marc Effron, author of One Page Talent Management and President, The Talent Strategy Group

“In this fascinating book, Steve Arneson offers a practical road map for understanding and adapting to your boss's motives and style. If you want to improve your relationship with the boss, read this book.”
—Bridgette Weitzel, Chief Talent Officer, BAE Systems

“Getting along with your boss is the key to a long, successful, and fulfilling career. In this smart book, Steve Arneson shares his secrets for improving your most critical work relationship.”
—Bill Allen, Chief Human Resources Officer, Macy's, Inc.

“This book is an invaluable resource for employees and a smart read for all managers who want to be more open about their style, mo- tives, and values.”
—Linda Simon, Senior Vice President, Leadership and Organization Development, DIRECTV

“Managing the relationship with your boss is indispensable for career success; in clear, direct, and punchy prose, Steve Arneson provides explicit and essential advice.”
—Robert Hogan, PhD, President, Hogan Assessment Systems

“Steve Arneson takes years of observation and distills it into a simple guide on how to improve your most important work relationship.”
—Fred Knowles, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Under Armour

“Steve Arneson delivers an insightful and practical playbook about the ever-challenging employee-boss relationship with this clever follow- up to Bootstrap Leadership.”
—David DeFilippo, Chief Learning Officer, BNY Mellon

“Steve Arneson has captured the insights and practical advice needed to build and sustain a powerful relationship with your boss.”
—Scott E. Nelson, CEO, MDA Leadership Consulting

“Steve Arneson asks all the right questions to help us understand the boss and motivates us to adapt and take responsibility for the relationship.”
—Jane Sommers-Kelly, Managing Director, Duke Corporate Education

“Steve Arneson's book is a must-read for bosses and subordinates who are interested in building more effective professional relation- ships with each other.”
—Boris Groysberg, Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

“This book offers a fresh approach to navigating the relationship with your boss. The process and insight Steve Arneson shares can help you get this critical relationship right.”
—Jeff Smith, Global Head of Human Resources, BlackRock

“We've all had at least one challenging boss in our careers, and this book shows you practical ways to take ownership of that relationship to realize your full potential.”
—Doug Rose, Chief Human Resources Officer, Discover Financial

“Steve Arneson once again delivers with provocative questions and in- sights. He provides practical tips for taking accountability and maxi- mizing your most important professional relationship.”
—Tim Tobin, Vice President, Global Learning and Leadership Development, Marriott International

“This book is for all those who have ever gotten a knot in their stom- ach when they get an email or voice mail from their boss. Steve Arneson gives you an effective strategy for the relationship so you'll never feel that anxiety again.”
—Jim Norton, Head of Global Media Sales, AOL

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