How to give the ultimate status update and make your boss brag about you
Use this to get in the fast-lane to senior leadership
Hey, I’m Reuben and welcome to my newsletter. Each week I dig into the goals, habits, routines, and strategies behind the Elite Operators in the sports industry. All so you can accelerate your career and make an impact in sport.
There’s one characteristic that almost every job agrees is essential
Empathy, for your audience.
If you understand your audience then you can create better content, sign better-fit partners, and run better training sessions tailored for your athletes.
But what if you applied the same approach to your Manager?
How might empathy for your boss lead to faster career growth for you?
I’m talking about more opportunities, great responsibility, and quicker promotions…
Today’s tactic will make your boss rave about you. It’s a framework for communicating and a form of ‘managing up’ that positions you as the trusted hero without any shmoozing required.
First, think of all the things your boss might have on their mind.
Now double that to include all the things you’re unaware of. That’s their worldview.
They’re busy people. And busy people forget the tasks/projects they delegate - I know I do! So one of the best things you can do for your boss (and for your career!) is to keep their mind at ease when they think about their direct reports - you.
If you never give them a reason to worry about you, your career will open up.
One way to do this is with a status update that they didn’t ask for. But instead of a rambling email that misses crucial points and lacks context, copy-paste this 4-point framework next time you need to share your progress:
Here’s what you asked me to do:
Here’s what I’ve done:
Here are the hurdles that came up (if any):
If I had more time, here’s what I’d do next (or differently):
Why does it make your boss’ eyes light up?
When you send a status update like this ahead of time, it does a few things for YOU:
It signals your initiative - nobody asked you for this. You decided this is the best way to ensure the project gets completed.
It signals your leadership ability - you took control and are communicating effectively to bring others with you to get it done.
It creates trust in your ability - this update gives your manager the feeling of relief that ‘great, this is under control’. Do this regularly and you will create a reputation for yourself as someone people can rely on.
All 3 combined demonstrate your potential to play a senior role in the future. The best sports organisations of the world rely on people with the initiative to move things forward, and leadership to bring people with them.
Taking 10 minutes per week to report up in this format will position you as a trusted hero who’s got the potential to step up.
On the flip slide…
If a Manager always has to wait to ask you in your next 1:1 “Where are things at?” it gives them the feeling that they are always chasing you. You don’t want to be chased. And they don’t want to chase you. People who get chased give the opposite signals of initiative, leadership, and trust, even if they feel like everything’s under control in their own mind!
And so people who are constantly chased miss out on new opportunities.
10 minutes a week will save you from falling into this bucket.
Here’s a real example from SportsGrad HQ.
I manage a team of content creators and share ideas and feedback with them all the time. Because I have so many other things on my mind (e.g. new podcasts, community events, meetups, uni talks, accounting stuff etc.) I forget the task or idea I delegate almost as soon as I’ve passed it on. A clear mental inbox is like gold for me.
When my team report back with a status update in this format it gives me that feeling of ‘great, this is under control’. But also helps me manage workloads better in the future and anticipate any potential blockers they might face. Given the time and resources allocated, it helps me understand:
What was possible
What I didn’t consider
In return, by reporting in this way my team makes my life easier, and helps me know how to make their life easier by clearing any potential issues.
This is just one example. Every boss will use the information you report back in different ways. But importantly, you allow them the intel and the headspace to do their job better, and that’s a fast path for you to be a workplace hero.
So, how can you make it a regular part of your week?
Copy and paste the 4-point framework into a draft email
Save the draft email as a template called ‘status update’
Send at least 24 hours before your next 1:1 catch-up so your meetings can be used to chat about next steps, rather than where things are at
Send 50 of these in the next 12 months and I guarantee your reputation will change for the better. More on creating good career habits here.
Remember this… Your company wants to promote you. It’s far quicker and more cost-efficient for companies to promote internally. So save them from going to market and start showing you’ve got what it takes to progress to the next level.
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