millennial and bossesI’ve had the opportunity to work with several bosses during my career. Each and every one of them was different. They led differently. Some were passive while others were headstrong. They had different priorities when it came to leading an organization. As an employee, it was difficult to determine what a boss was looking for and how he/she measured success.

What Every Boss Wants from Millennials

As young employees, we spend a lot of time (sometimes an unhealthy amount) thinking about ways we can impress the people we support. While every boss is different in the way they lead, there’s one thing they all have in common:

They all value people who solve problems.

Understanding this principle is key for those who want to stand out or make a difference in their organization.

We are doing ourselves a disservice if we are trying to make an impression by simply showing up, “putting our heads down”, and checking off things on our to-do list. While accomplishing daily tasks are essential, we’ll never be able to maximize your potential impact by simply clocking in and out every day.

Knowing This… How Should We Respond?

There are no easy problems to be solved. It is going to take hard work. However, if we want to be the type of workers that make a noticeable difference in our organizations, we must be willing to solve problems.

Here are three ways we can respond:

1- Set aside time to simply think about the biggest challenges your organization faces.

A leader’s job is to solve problems. Unfortunately, many leaders never set aside time to think seriously about the biggest challenges and obstacles they face. This can feel weird, especially if you are a “doer.” Just spending time thinking can feel lazy. However, if you are going to stand out, you must keep our eyes open and proactively address the challenges we see that are keeping your organization from accomplishing our goals.

2 – Remove “that’s not my job” from your vocabulary.

Because of their position, your bosses know every problem your company or organization is facing, which can be overwhelming and stressful. Therefore, being willing to tackle any challenge solving some of those issues guarantees that you’ll stand out.

3 – Mobilize others who have the strengths to help solve the challenges.

More than likely, solving a problem you’ve identified is going to take strengths you might not have. Effective leadership isn’t about what only you can do; it’s about how organizing people to do things bigger than any one person can accomplish.

If we want to stand out or make a good impression with our bosses, we must be proactive about solving problems. Instead of simply showing up or trying to “wow” your boss with the next great idea, look for the problems that are holding your organization back and make a plan to solve them.

Leaders: What are some other things you appreciate about those who stand out in your organization?