3 ways to convince your boss you're a rock star

Three Behaviors That Will Convince Your Boss You’re a Rock Star

Yesterday “Doug,” a participant in one of our Winning Well workshops, asked, “Karin, How do I convince my boss I’m a rock star?  I mean, if I were to walk into your office right now with the goal of convincing you I’m a rock star, what behaviors would get your attention? Because I really am a high performer, but I’m not sure my boss sees it.”

I’m always intrigued by what comes out of the other end of my microphone in a keynote during spontaneous Q & A— the raw advice bubbling straight from my heart without the benefit of the backspace key.

So, here’s my answer to Doug, and for you if you’re looking to make a bigger impact.

How to Convince Your Boss You’re a Rock Star

 Of course, the table stakes are integrity—a reputation of doing what you say.  Treating human beings you encounter with deep respect. And a history of sustained results over time. On top of that my big three are…

Are You Gung-Ho?

Of course, I’d never tell an interview candidate “You’re just not gung ho,” but I can spot an all-in, positive spirit within the first few minutes of an interaction with another human being. “Gung ho” can take many forms: the quiet introvert who comes prepared with a spreadsheet of our biggest organizational challenges and his thoughts for fixing them; the passionate extrovert sharing stories of customer turn-around efforts she’s led; or the eager employee bringing new ideas for a special project.“Gung ho” means you’re as excited about this work as I am—and you’re ready to give this job everything you’ve got to be successful.

Do You Offer Solutions?

Let me be clear, “gung ho” is necessary but not sufficient to hit the “convince your boss”  Karin Hurt rock-star radar. There’s always a long line of people “gung ho” with ideas of what I could do to make things better. I want to know what you’re eager to do and how you’re planning to do it. True rock stars bring solutions—not just problems. They view constraints as creative challenges, not roadblocks. They’re willing to try new approaches and are resilient and determined to overcome setbacks.

Do You Have the Respect of Your Peers?

Even if you’re gung-ho and full of creative solutions—if you’re driving your peers batty, something is amiss. And no—it’s not because you’re that much better than everybody else (and if you even hint that you believe that—I’m not buying your “I’m a rock star” sales pitch.) It’s impossible to Win Well in the long run without trust, collaboration, and sharing of best practices. I’d take a team of B+ performers who know how to truly collaborate over a few smart lone rangers every time.

If you’re looking to convince your boss you’re a rock star, show up with confidence in your skills and the willingness to go the extra mile to make an impact, along with the humility to know what’s broken and how you can help. Be committed to achieving breakthrough results through collaborative relationships.

That’s Winning Well.

Other Thoughts on Managing Your Relationship With Your Boss

How to Talk With Your Boss When You Totally Disagree

How To Get Your Boss Excited About Your Idea

Convince Your Boss: 11 Ways to Get Them to Say Yes

How to Work With an Indecisive Boss

Posted in Career & Learning, Winning Well and tagged , .

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager's Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells - building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. Love this post, Karin. I did laugh because you have 1, then 1, then 2. I thought maybe there’s a deeper meaning there. Rock stars consistently outwork, outperform, and outcompete others. They give just that little bit more, a little edge that keeps them in the top of the pack.

    • Thanks so much, Skip! (and thanks for the heads up on the numbering– oddly it was working on the back end 😉 fixed now. I’m a firm believer in hard work and the impact it will have.

  2. Great post, Karin. I especially liked your use of “gung-ho,” which originally was derived from a Chinese phrase meaning “working together.” In that sense, “gung-ho” means that you’re “as excited about this work as I am” but that you’re also lending your efforts to make the team successful.

    • Wally, Thank you for all your “gung ho” leadership work! AND for the origin story of gung ho. Love it.

  3. Loved this post. Especially how you call out the solutions piece and respect if your peers. I have connected with many fired up personalities whom can call out any number of things that are wrong. But those that can stay fired up during the “grind”, when you many not have wins to keep the fuel burning, those are the ones that really stand out. Great post!!


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