About a week ago, a guest lecturer came to work to teach about management. The advice he gave was incredible, and I can confidently say that as a young professional, my attitude about work has significantly changed.
Although I cannot share the management lecture in its entirety, I’ll share one idea which has stayed with me.
The secret to becoming the go-to woman or man is anticipation. In other words, if you think ahead and preemptively meet the needs of your supervisor you will set yourself apart from your peers almost immediately.
So here are three ways to become the Robin to your boss’ Batman.
1. Understand how your tasks and responsibilities are linked to their larger objectives.
Usually, the work your supervisor is engaged in will be one level above the tasks you are engaged in. If you are the one drafting the memo, your boss is probably the one who will be presenting it to their boss. Or if you are organizing a database, your supervisor may be taking the data to create a visual aid for a client.
When you are aware of where your smaller task fits into the larger goal, you and your boss can cooperate more definitively with one another. This will take you from assistant to partner in the mind of your supervisor.
2. Prepare your work as if it is going to be published.
Always remember that your supervisor’s job is to delegate tasks to you. Your responsibility is to execute these tasks flawlessly. For instance, if you write reports for your supervisor, write them as if they are going directly to print. Treat the draft as if it will be published the moment you submit it to your boss. Make it easy for them to trust your work.
Proofread what you write.
Ask a trusted colleague for a second eye, and then, when you are sure that your work is perfect…PROOFREAD it AGAIN.
3. Get to know your boss
Of course, it should be a given that you must always interact with your boss in a professional manner. I am not recommending that you necessarily go out for drinks with your boss or analyze their social media pages. I am suggesting that you integrate your work into their routines.
If you know your boss checks emails at 9:30am every morning, make certain you have sent in the most important work to them by that time. Or if you know they do most of their meeting prep after lunch, hand them your findings on their way back to the desk.
Even if Batman is the greatest D.C. hero of all time…he would be nowhere without Robin.
Your boss knows you work hard. Anticipating your boss' needs will show you care about their success and the success of the organization. And that makes you a hero too.