If your boss looks good, your department looks good. And that reflects well on you. So this one should be obvious. But I’m amazed at how many people criticize the boss behind her back, or are always ready to pass the buck on to her.
I realize that your boss may be a fool, have no business acumen, be difficult and demanding, have abysmal people skills, no idea how to manage a department, and lack all integrity, talent, and diplomacy. If all that is true, her image certainly needs all the help you can give it.
OK, few bosses are that bad. But few are faultless either, and that’s not the point. It’s just common sense. You benefit all round from making your boss look good, and it’s only a matter of time before your boss starts to notice.
Of course, this makes sense when your boss is present, but if you stick up for her, give her credit and draw attention to her strengths even when she’s not there, it will do you even more good. Other senior managers will be impressed, and word will get back to the boss about how you told everyone it was your boss’s thoroughness that kept the exhibition stand on budget, or she who negotiated that great deal, or her encouragement that gave the team the confidence to give such a good presentation.
This is the kind of loyalty that other managers will admire and will help consolidate the rest of your department into a strong team—which will also be noticed and will rub off on every- one, yourself included. I’m not suggesting here that you lie about the boss if she in fact makes a complete mess of things.
I’m suggesting that you keep quiet on the subject if she really screwed up, and make a noise about the stuff she gets right.
Of course, there will be times when you and your colleagues need to discuss the boss honestly to work as a team, but make sure you make only those negative points that are strictly nec- essary, and be fair and impersonal about them. It’s probably wise to acknowledge that your boss is likely to give you the information you need at the last possible minute, but you can still voice it in a matter-of-fact practical way rather than a bitchy, critical way.
THIS IS THE KIND OF LO YA LTY THAT O T HER MANA GERS WILL ADMIRE.