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Your Boss Is Your Customer

By Andy Warren,

Today we have a guest editorial from Andy Warren.

One of the harder parts of any new job or assignment is figuring out what is important to your boss. Is it how you dress? How you communicate? Filling out your timesheet on time? How well you work within your team? Lines of code? Usually they can tell you the couple hot buttons they have (for example, for me, one of my rules is that if we break something, I want to know about it before my manager does) but I promise they have more than they list!

I think we all wish for that comprehensive list. I bet most of us ask about it during interviews or reviews, something along the lines of “what is important to you”, but the answer is incomplete, and often unsatisfying. That seems unfair doesn’t it? Yet on the other hand, could you write down that same list as it applies to your children or your spouse?

It’s helped me to think “customer” instead of boss. Customers don’t always know what they want up front, but they can quickly decide once they see the result. Good companies and good consultants observe and probe for ways to serve and delight their customers. It takes effort, but we expect that, and that makes a difference.

Spend 10 minutes thinking about your new “customer”. Are you trying to serve and delight? Or are you trying to avoid your customer? What could you do better, given that the customer probably can’t tell you? Think on that, and join me in the attached forum for the follow up discussion.

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