Episode 11 – Boss Frameworks

You are busy and so is your boss. It helps to put a simple framework around your weekly activities to increase your awareness of your own progress. And, to help your boss. It’s time to manage upwards, if you aren’t already, and use your framework as a tool to move the work forward. Step up and get started on your framework. S a weekly meeting with your boss. A meeting that you lead. It’s simple, but how often are you doing it?

Episode 11 Show Notes and Resources

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Episode 11 Script

This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 11 Boss Frameworks. The weekly update This’ll podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to move? Georgia’s has promised. I want to start sharing more episodes that talk about frameworks, frameworks that we can use to do our work better and help those around us do their work better as well. And I want to step far back in time to when I was 21 or 22 years old and I stepped away from college for what ended up being almost two years to be a service missionary, And I was given the Portland, Oregon, location for that mission course that extended into Eastern Oregon as well. And that’s a whole different story because I was really fun and rancher country. But as a young missionary, I the responsibility of going around on knocking on doors to share a message. But also we were responsible. My partner and I, we call them companions, had to also take ah list of members of our church in a particular area and go check every name on the list to find out if they actually still live there or if they moved if they were interested, if they’re not interested and then take whatever the next steps were. Some people wanted to be taught because they didn’t know anything. But yet they were on a record. Some people said, Get me off and we say, OK, we’ll give your names to the leaders and have your names removed And so we would go through this process of going and checking on everyone in this list and what happened is every week, rude report what we found to the leadership of the local congregation. And so we really be in a special meeting where we would say, Okay, we saw this person, this person, this person said, Don’t come back. This person moved and give them this information, and pretty quickly we started to discover that we needed to have a format to give them this information. And as we created a format, we noticed that the meeting that was being led by people that were much older than we were and, you know, ye old people. They were only in their forties, fifties and sixties. But of course we’re 21 year olds. So this seemed like we were, you know, very much dealing with adults here. They started defaulting too. Our format. We weren’t leading the meeting. We were just supposed to be one item on the agenda. But soon after the meeting would begin, they’d say, OK, ladies, tell us what you did this week and fairly rapidly. We became the agenda of the meeting because we were the ones most involved in finding information, and we became very helpful to them because they could see what information we had found out. It helped them know what actions they needed to take. And it put us in a good position to follow up weekly on open action items. And that was a very interesting lesson to learn very young, because there was such a discrepancy in our ages and life responsibilities that it was very clear what was happening in my mind at least. And so I took these lessons into the work environment when I started working, and so every week I would start to update my boss on what I had done that week and what’s amazing about updating your boss is the process of preparing for that actually relieves stress for me in many ways, or created more stress if I realized that I hadn’t gotten everything done that I have supposed Thio. But it was an opportunity to march through everything that I had done everything that I should be doing to figure out what gaps existed and then to identify some specific areas where the boss could help me. Or the boss could take some kind of action toward helping me finish or fighting a battle that maybe I couldn’t fight. And so I started to walk into weekly meetings with my boss and share these updates, and I would put it into a format in a word document, and the same thing happened that happened when I was a missionary. The boss would default to my format, and this is very telling. These frameworks are important that we create in our lives because it takes all this information that’s swimming around in our brains and all these thoughts, and it puts it into something that we can handle and manage, and very quickly the right bosses could see Oh, wow, look at this. This is getting done in. This isn’t what do I need to do to help, and it would trigger them on understanding what priorities should be pursued. Because the act of putting this together also gave the boss a framework to figure out what tradeoffs needed to be made. And, oh, my word, I given her five priorities. Why did I give five priorities for this week? They’re only need to be, too. And then we could have the discussion about which priorities are most important. There are many ways this can be done. I have tried many formats, and I’m going to put a couple of formats out there on move your desk dot com for this episode 11. But some of the basics that can be covered, I’ve kind of mentioned, but I really wanted to clarify again in these weekly formats. It’s important to list the key areas that you were responsible for delivering on whether the product or service and I break thes out into overarching categories and then subcategories is needed, and some things just don’t have a subcategory. But one area is often administrative, and then I’ve broken down into the different key areas I’m responsible for So, for example, there’s administrative and then a list of two or three specific projects. And then if there’s some kind of operational item that I’m responsible for. And then I put in another column what was accomplished and created another column to show outstanding actions and another column requesting assistance from the boss and another column questions. And, of course, there could be a column for a completion date or something like that. Sometimes it’s helpful. Just tow. Have the one pager where it’s just that week. There are also other ways of showing the information that I kind of have a running total of the activities that are ongoing so they can see how it builds up and for yourself. When you make this list, you can start to see Wait a second. I’m reporting the same thing every week. It’s probably time to take more action on a particular item if it keeps showing up that I’m giving the exact same status, and it doesn’t matter what order this framework is in or anything, it matters that you put it in a format that you can sustain each week, and I would suggest setting up a meeting with the boss to discuss it and not just sending it to them, especially if you introduce this as a new approach for you to do your work. Now some of you have really fancy and nice online systems where you report an up date, all the task you’ve done. Or maybe you’re reporting to a central hub for a specific project using project management software or some other type of team collaboration site. But I was still suggest going through this activity because the act of thinking through it is a very strategic process, as compared to going into a system and just updating tasks that are already sitting there before you. Because part of this effort is also noticing what you’re not going to do going forward or what you should be doing. And that’s not going to show up in an online system as a gap necessarily. This is something that you start to notice when you are writing down what you’re accomplishing, and then saying, Wait a second. I haven’t even thought of this, but I should also be reaching out to this stakeholder, or I should also be making sure when we update this system that we also up date these systems or people in the process, and that would not show up on a to do list. Necessarily. That’s something that happens when you stop and take time to think about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it and what kind of progress you’ve made. And that’s where you start to find different questions to ask, which is why it’s important to have ah column on that weekly update where you have questions because this also provides the space for you and your boss to discuss different questions. So I’d love to hear what you think and what you d’oh. Maybe you have a really great framework or format the you use to update your boss on a weekly basis, and this helps you. This helps your boss, and it can become a way to get more productive with the work you do focus on because you have something to reference and to make decisions on next priorities. And as many of you know, priorities can change day to day or hour by hour, depending upon what environment you work in. And I know sometimes when those that reported to me have come and given me these kinds of updates, it is very refreshing, and it immediately alerts me to areas where they need my help or they need mentoring for them to do something. And it gives me an idea of the workload balance that each person has because it’s right up front and lets you know if they have space to take on more or not, or what’s actually going on would love to hear your feedback and you’re pushed back on the desk. The website is up at move your desk dot com and all the podcast episodes air on there, and the push back on the desk tab provides a form for you to email me would love to hear from you and good luck managing your boss and giving him or her weekly frameworks to demonstrate that you are doing great at your work and you are helping them be a better boss. Thank you for listening to another episode of the new Your Best Show. If you enjoyed listening, I would love if you would take the time to give a five star review and share the podcast with friends that are seeking to find and do their best work

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