Stacey C. Cunningham
Are you yearning for growth and advancement in a position that stifles your leadership potential Perhaps you are looking for ways to establish yourself as a key player in your organization.
The time has come to start thinking like a boss! Captain Mike Abrashoff discovered the power of thinking like his boss and reaping the benefits it brought. Adopting a strategic mindset and anticipating your superiors' needs can enhance your performance and prepare you for future leadership roles.
The Path to Leadership Excellence
Abrashoff's journey taught him the distinction between being an individual contributor and a team leader. To grasp this distinction, he had to develop the ability to think like his boss. This shift in mindset elevated his performance and prepared him for higher-ranking roles within the Navy.
Anticipating the Needs of Your Boss
Incorporating the expectations of your boss into your team's goals is crucial to build trust and establish authority. When making decisions and completing tasks, put yourself in "the shoes of your boss." By aligning your work with your leader's objectives, you proactively demonstrate your commitment to the organization's success. Abrashoff recognized that his boss desired a ship that safely fulfilled operational responsibilities, stayed under budget, fostered high morale, and retained talented sailors.
By delivering exceptional results in the areas prioritized by his boss, Abrashoff earned the trust and independence to manage his crew effectively. This autonomy enabled him to prioritize the welfare of his crew, leading to outstanding performance. As he explains,
"If your bosses see you lifting burdens off their shoulders, and they find out they can trust you, they stay out of your face. And that gives you the freedom you need to operate independently and improve your ship." (ch. 2)
Balancing Risk and Prudence
While thinking like a boss empowers you to take calculated risks, it is essential to strike a balance and act in the organization's best interest rather than for personal gain. Mike's approach was grounded in prudent decision-making aligned with what he believed his boss would expect. His actions were never self-serving but always aimed at advancing the organization.
Unlocking Benefits for Yourself and Your Team
Embracing the mindset of thinking like a boss offers numerous advantages. Firstly, it positions you for career growth and opens doors to future leadership opportunities. Additionally, it fosters trust and credibility among your team members, who witness your commitment to their success and the organization's welfare. When your people understand your priorities and objectives, it promotes alignment, collaboration, and a shared sense of purpose.
Step into your boss's shoes and envision what they want—this crucial first step is the foundation for shaping your future and becoming the leader you aspire to be. Hone your observation skills as you diligently seek to gain a deeper understanding of the motivations behind your boss's decisions and actions. By doing so, you can proactively anticipate their needs and preferences, enabling you to be an even greater asset to them and the organization.
Should you ever find yourself uncertain about a particular action or decision, don't hesitate to respectfully approach your boss and ask for insight into their thought process. This demonstrates your genuine interest in their perspective and fosters open communication, which is vital for fostering a positive working relationship. Remember, the more you align yourself with your boss's vision and priorities, the greater your chances of personal and professional growth. Embrace the opportunity to learn from your boss, and embrace the challenges that come with it, as they are important steps in your leadership journey.
Want more practical tips and tactics to think like a boss?
Check out our latest book, Ship Happens, based on Captain Mike Abrashoff’s best-selling book, It’s Your Ship. Click the button below to purchase it on Amazon.