Six Ways To Get Things Done When You’re Not The Boss


by Nan S. Russell, author of the book, The Titleless Leader: How to Get Things Done When You’re Not in Charge (Career Press, 2012). You can follow her on Twitter.

You’re a manager, but not THE boss. Don’t feel that you have no power to accomplish things. This is a great post that shows you how you get things done…

“Achieving your goals in today’s workplace is about the right behaviors–not the right job titles. That’s true whether you’re operating in a boardroom meeting, on a PTA committee, or running your own small company. It’s possible to get results from people who don’t report to you; influence colleagues in differing roles or generations; and lead initiatives without being the boss. These steps can help you create a natural following.

1. Customize your approach. Bend, adjust, and mold your style to fit someone else’s. If she wants to hear from you via voicemail and email, it doesn’t matter if you think that’s outdated or cumbersome. You’ll get better, faster results if you adjust your style to what she wants, rather than communicating with her via text because you prefer it. When you make it effortless for someone to respond to you or work with you, she will.

2. Control the vision, not the process. If you can help others see what you need from them, you’ll be more likely to get it. People want a clear vision of what’s expected so they can successfully achieve it. But leave the how-to-get-there to the person whose help you seek. Don’t micromanage the process. Instead, fill in your end-result picture with exceptional detail and allow others to chart a path.

3. Enhance the commitment. Salespeople ask for the sale, and you need to ask for a commitment and projected delivery date: “Can I count on you for this? When can I expect you’ll get it to me?” Then offer assistance and ask what help might ease their priorities or smooth their way: “What can I do to help you? Is there anything you need?” Follow through immediately if you need to involve others, or provide additional information.

Then, get permission to follow up: “Is it okay if I check back next week and see if you need anything else?” This check-in is not an attempt to manage them; that’s not your role. Rather, it’s a second chance for you to clear obstacles or assist should difficulties arise that could prevent you from getting what you need when you need it.”

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