Don’t Tell Your Boss Everything!

This post is intended for new managers, or someone who is facing an upcoming major presentation in a corporate environment.  Ever been faced with a situation where you have a big presentation or demonstration to your boss or someone even higher in your organization?  Here’s a tip:  when you are going through your preparations, make sure to hold something in reserve for the final presentation that will knock their socks off.

I happen to be going through this right now myself.  We have a major presentation in a couple of weeks to our senior leaders.  As my team and I are preparing the presentation for the division head, we are carefully reviewing the content, but I am holding back a few things (e.g. extra technology demo, new research idea, etc.) the team is thinking about bringing forward.  We are doing this for a couple of reasons.  First, if our extra ideas do not pan out we haven’t overcommitted and then look bad.  Second, we get the bonus of the surprise factor if we can pull it off.  In our case, we’re working hard to bring multiple surprises on top of a presentation we have already planned.

Taking calculated risks is a habit of a Big Play maker.  Holding some surprises in reserve can set the stage for a memorable presentation which can shape opinions going forward.  Good luck!


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I am a software lab manager in the Corporate Research Lab at 3M in St. Paul.

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