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Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes: 5 ways to impress your new boss (and Eddie Van Halen) - Fortune

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Keep emails short and sweet

Over the years, I’ve trained myself to write three-sentence emails (a concept expounded here), leaving out the fluff and keeping only the most essential points. It saves my time and it saves the reader’s time. Whenever I get a long email from a new employee, I ask myself if things could have been expressed more concisely. He or she has spent a lot of their own time composing it and now it’s consuming a lot of my time, as well, since I have to read it. And time is often a boss’s most valuable commodity. Rather than send long emails, save more substantial communication for a phone call or meeting.

Treat my assistant better than me

Recently, we had various people applying for a high-level sales role. After checking in with my executive assistant, I was surprised to find out that many candidates who had been personable and courteous to me were downright rude to her. The ability to work well with others is a skill that’s critical in any role. I’m constantly assessing how new hires treat co-workers, clients, even strangers. Civility, courtesy and genuine caring are traits bosses often value highly because they lead to a more harmonious and productive team.

Sweat the small stuff:

In their heyday, Van Halen was famous for an ingenious quality-control tactic. Buried deep within the group’s 53-page tour contract was a stipulation that their backstage green room be supplied with M&M’s – in all colors except brown. If the band discovered a brown M&M, they’d reportedly go nuts and skip the gig entirely. Their logic: if their contractors didn’t read the fine print when it came to candy, how could they possibly be trusted to set up their elaborate, often dangerous, stage shows.

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