“Make your boss look good” – is almost the most important thing you can do at work (2 min read)

I am certainly not the first person to stress the importance of making your boss look good as an important quality in the workplace. Indeed, there are many thousands of well written articles on the subject.

However, to me making your boss look good is only the first step. Often, people neglect the second part and that is not to make your boss look bad.

Now, only a crazy person (or a very brave person) would actually set out to try and undermine their boss, but in large and complex organisations I have often seen people fall foul of not considering their boss during their actions.

There are many types of manager in a workplace. From the paranoid types who want to know your every move to the laid back people that actively seem not to want to know what you are up to, and the vast majority in between.

However, regardless of your managers personality type they will expect you to tell them about anything that happens that could impact how someone important views them. Failure you to do this will be career limiting.


Good managers (sadly not all will) should encourage their staff to network and interact with people, junior and senior, across the organisation. However, if you do happen to be speaking to a Board member or someone else that has access or is able to influence someone senior then I would strongly recommend you let your boss know. Ideally beforehand but definitely afterwards.

Equally if you happen to hear anything that directly or indirectly relates to your boss then you should also let your boss know. Even bad bosses are human beings and will want to know how they are perceived. You can be discreet and by no means need to give away the source of the information but not telling your boss is a bad idea.

This information may be obvious, but I am staggered how many people don’t do this and do things with the thought that their boss will not find out. They always will and putting your boss in a difficult situation will have ramifications to you down the line.

You may not like your boss, but until you do something about it and get a new one, then I strongly you advise to not only always try and make your boss look good but to actively make sure you NEVER make them look bad.

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