- Know that your job is to help the boss win. If you’re not sure what exactly represents success for your boss, ask. Keep her goals in mind when presenting ideas. Minimize your use of her time and resources.
- Keep track of everything your boss puts on your plate. Let her realize that if she assigns something to you, it’s either going to be handled, or you’ll bring it back up with her for a follow-up.
- Size up your boss’s style. Is she a delegator (don’t overwhelm her with detailed updates) or a hand-holder (involve her in making decisions—even if to ask, “Does that sound right to you?”)? Match up your boss’s communication preferences.
- Identify your boss’s pet peeves. Is it being late to appointments, dropping by unexpectedly, bringing a problem to her without suggesting a remedy, or coming to a meeting unprepared? Avoid them like land mines.
- Take upon yourself any aspect of your boss’s job that she doesn’t find particularly interesting. You’ll improve her work-life quality. (And you’ll broaden your experiences and become noticeable to other leaders.)
Bonus: If she’s a good boss, tell her. Few people think to say it. Praise, but don’t flatter.