Which conversation

I bet you had a great year last year.  You hit your goals and then some.  You checked all the boxes and now you’re thinking about the coming year and ways you’d like to grow as a professional.

Which conversation do you want to have with your boss?

One version goes like this: Hey, boss, great to see you.  I’ve been thinking that since I delivered so much last year that I’d like to take on these new projects and be given such-and-such new responsibilities and this new job title.

It might work, but wouldn’t you rather have this conversation?

Hey boss, not only did I ship like crazy last year, but as you know I also was leading up these projects, I’ve been taking responsibility for these relationships and these other initiatives that are underway, and I’m also the point person for this big idea that’s going live in March and it’s going great.

So, boss, which one of these things would you like me to stop doing?

Your choice.

Really, it’s up to you.


I’m not much of a glass-breaker, usually.  My natural tendency is to build consensus, get buy-in.  And I’ve kind of had it with this approach.

I’m not planning to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I’m realizing that sometimes I need to get the heck out of my own way.

Before you say to someone, “I thought you might want to know that I’m planning to…” make sure you know why you’re saying it.  Do you need input and approval, or are you really just saying “I’m telling you this because this way you have a chance to say ‘no,’ and if you don’t, it means that you’ve OKed what I’m about to do.”

Nice to have the approval but what happens when:

  1. Folks say no; or
  2. They weigh in with a different opinion, and you need to do something with their advice?

One way to tell why you’re asking: if someone were to say, “no way,” would you do it anyway?  If so, then what are you gaining by asking?

Go ahead, break something.

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