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Why Your Boss Thinks Your Boring

        posted by , January 01, 2013

We all want to influence, impress and inspire our boss. This is often difficult to achieve.

If your boss rarely gets excited about your ideas. If your boss never asks for your advice. You might have bad habits that are making you less visible and appreciated.

These 7 bad habits reduce your visibility.

1. Your Ideas Are Too Big

Ideas that come in nice implementable chunks are best.

Executives commonly complain that they get far too many big ideas from their teams.

It's easy to suggest big change. Anyone can do it. It doesn't add much value.

If you want to add value — solve big problems with small changes.

If you're best idea is to spend millions of dollars, that's a lot harder to sell than a quick win. You can't sell big ideas until you've successfully sold small ideas.

2. You're Not Listening To Your Boss

The one sure way to influence leaders is to start solving their biggest problems.

You need to listen carefully — what does your boss need?

Once you start solving urgent needs, you'll be noticed.

3. Your Ideas Are Just Ideas

Ideas are cheap. It's action that matters. It's easier to sell ideas when you've shown that you can implement them.

4. Your Ideas Aren't Innovative

If your ideas aren't selling, it's possible that they aren't innovative.

Innovative ideas are elusive. You may be highly intelligent. You may focus all your energies on innovation. Innovation may still be hard to find.

Einstein and the Mystery of Innovation

In 1900, Einstein graduated from the Swiss Federal Polytechnic School and was awarded a teaching diploma. He spent several years looking for a teaching position but was unsuccessful.

He published a few physics papers but they were nothing special. He went largely unnoticed. Finally, he took a job as a patent clerk (3rd class). He was consistently passed over for promotion.

Einstein had never met a theoretical physicist but he continued to worked away at physics theories in his spare time.

Einstein was a nobody in 1905 when he suddenly published four brilliant papers that changed our understanding of space, time, and matter. These four papers are now recognized as singlehandedly founding modern physics.

Einstein toiled away at his theories for years before he experienced this sudden rush of innovation at the age of 26. He continued on to a brilliant career but never hit the same heights again.

Luckily for you, you probably don't have to reinvent the laws of the universe to influence your boss.

The lesson from Einstein's struggle with innovation is that good ideas aren't always easy to find. You've got to work at it.

5. You're Too Focused on Influencing Your Boss

Before you can influence your boss you must first influence your team. If you have no influence with your team, your boss will pick up on that.

Many leaders use their team as an idea filter. If the entire team isn't buzzing about an idea, you may have no chance with the boss.

6. Your Not Aggressive Enough

If you want influence you need to ask for it.

If you've got a solid proposal for your boss — it's time to ask for some face time.

If you don't get it, find a way to get it. Even if it's an elevator pitch that you actually deliver in an elevator.

7. You Need Work On Your Influencing Skills

Influencing skills such as public speaking are amongst the most difficult soft skills to master.

Solid soft skills will give you the power to wake up the leaders in your organization to your value.

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