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The Most Important – and Profitable – Question You Should Ask Your Boss 


by Glenn Shepard
October 6, 2015
Category:  Careers


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Congratulations to the finalists for the 2015 Glenn Shepard Leadership Award:

Samuel Brightwell
Lockheed Martin
Lufkin, TX

Libby Campbell
West Texas Food Bank
Odessa, TX

Lori Gallenberg
North Chicago, IL

Winston Howard Jr.
Covington, TN

Kyle Laramie
Veterans Care
Lake St. Louis, MO

Jammey Harroun
Associated Finishing
Mankato, MN

Tom Jurich
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY

Dan Morris
Advantage Controls
Muskogee, OK

Heather Robinson
Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
Bloomington, IN

Brian Sweatt
Lighthouse Christian School
Nashville, TN

     If you want to put yourself on the fast track to promotions and raises, ask your boss this simple but unbelievably powerful question:

     “What can I do to help?”

     The employee who does this comes out miles ahead of the one who is always willing to help, but only does so when asked. See for yourself how well this works by walking into your boss’s office right now and using these six magically powerful words.

     This is about far more than taking initiative. Taking initiative means doing what needs to be done without being asked to do so. That can only occur when the need has already made itself known.

     This is about you offering to help before you even know a need exists. A run of the mill employee may accomplish just as much as a highly valued employee. Asking your boss how you can help before he or she asks you makes the distinction between the two.

     Imagine that you’re competing against two other contestants for a $1,000,000 grand prize on “Jeopardy”. Host Alex Trebek says, “This is the highest earning rock band in history.” You reach for the button, but the player next to you hits his first and exclaims, “Who are The Rolling Stones?” You knew the answer, but lost $1,000,000 because someone else beat you to the button. Think of your job in the same way, and beat your boss to the button.

     One benefit of offering to help before you’re asked is that you’ll still benefit even when there’s nothing for you to do.

     And when there’s work to be done and you end up doing more, the rewards will be substantial over your years with the company. Asking what you can do to help does three things:

1. Gets the work done
2. Takes a task off your boss’s plate
3. Communicates to your boss that you’re more than a good worker. You’re a great asset to your company.

To Your Success,

P.S. If you’re a manager, share this article with your employees and see how many take the initiative to ask you the question. It’s about as close as you can get to handing someone success on a silver platter, but it’s baffling how some people still won’t get it.

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