Want to get on the fast track to success in your workplace? Try these techniques for delivering the wow factor.

So, you want to impress your boss and get on the fast track in your workplace. Who doesn’t?

Here are three ways that anyone, at any level, can use to achieve the “wow” factor. Even the senior executives I coach at Fortune 100 companies use them, and they always do the trick.

1.  Be a Winner, Not a Whiner

Winners are problem-solvers, and whiners are…well, annoying. Every boss appreciates a person who leaves the complaints at home.

I’m not suggesting you ignore the problems facing you on the job or act like you’re immune to challenges. Not at all. It’s perfectly okay to have problems that need fixing and to face difficult challenges. We all do.

But if your goal is to keep growing professionally, never bring up a challenge or articulate a problem without having at least one solution to propose that makes your boss feel as if the situation is under control. Offering up two alternative solutions for any given conundrum and seeking input about them will also get you noticed—in the good way.

2.  Toot Your Own Orchestra

If you’re a rising professional, you’ve probably heard it’s not enough to do stellar work, that you also have to toot your own horn to get attention at work. I know many of you are uncomfortable with this idea. Or maybe you simply don’t know where to start with this tooting business.

So instead, start by tooting your own orchestra, the players being your team or the people you’ve partnered with on projects. Tooting your own orchestra involves directing a spotlight on the triumphs of others. And when you talk about their success, your own skills become apparent, too.

Trumpeting a colleague’s achievement might sound something like this: “Shanna was the perfect partner on this project. Her warmth and personal attention to every person on the client team definitely influenced them to go with our proposal.”

When you celebrate the achievements of your peers, your collaborative ability will shine through. Going even further, you can talk about how you contributed to the team’s success or what role you personally played in facilitating such a productive work environment.

3.  Deliver Your Own Performance Review

Delivering your own performance review might sound audacious, but if a review is not forthcoming, go ahead and ask for it. That’s right—schedule it yourself. And once it’s scheduled, don’t just show up. Come prepared!

Here’s how you do it. Walk into your boss’s office with three invaluable pieces of information:

1.  Top achievements for this period, with specifics and examples to back them up.

2.  Areas you plan on developing in the period to come.

3.  Resources and support you will need to develop those areas successfully.

Pretty impressive, right? Whether or not your boss is prepared for such a review or proficient in the art of feedback, be prepared and skilled yourself. Don’t sit around pining for praise; show your willingness to take initiative and be your own best advocate. If you do, you’re definitely a candidate on the fast track upward.

And you’ve just wowed your boss. Big time.

Do you have your own winning way to wow your boss? Share it with us in the comments!

Ora Shtull is an executive coach who has worked with high-potential leaders at Fortune 100 companies for over 15 years. Her engaging book, The Glass Elevator: A Guide to Leadership Presence for Women on the Rise, helps you master the nine must-have skills that will propel you upward.


  1. Spark Hire

    These are great ways to win the respect of your boss. What they all have in common is showing your boss how you bring value to the company. This is something you’ll also want to do when looking for a new job, whether using a video resume or talking to employers in an interview setting. Make sure employers know what you can do and what’s so special about you.

  2. Sherri van der Wege

    I would add that your boss’ response to these things will also be a good indicator of how good a fit this job really is – I’d gotten negative feedback from doing just these kinds of things from one of my bosses, and he turned out to be a nightmare in almost every way. The bosses who respond positively and with appropriate support are gems.

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