If the thought you travelling with your boss on a business trip makes you cringe then this article is for you. There are things you can do before you leave, on the airplane, in the morning, while you’re working and at the bar later that night. Think of the business trip as an opportunity for the boss to notice how indispensable you are to the company.
Robert Greene who writes for Maxim magazine and author of, The 48 Laws of Power, writes, “Conducting yourself professionally and ruthlessly on the road means a promotion for you and a death sentence for your rivals.” Flashy attention seeking behaviour will not serve you; however, you need to ensure that anything you do comes about authentically. Your goal is to wow your boss not make her feel manipulated.
Before the trip
Prior to leaving, ask around about your boss, to determine her likes and dislikes. Be sure to stay updated on her marital status, political views and hobbies or interests. Greene suggests learning her, “historical heroes and workout routines.” Next, research your destination city, find the best bistro, what’s playing at the local theatre and where the best place is to get a drink.
On the airplane
Greene says to read a “biography of the figure he admires”. You must actually read it, because when he sparks up a conversation regarding your choice of reading material it bodes better for you if your responses come about organically.
Be sure to have candy ready for the changing air pressure.
At the hotel
In your preparation research, you should have determined what your boss’ early morning ritual is, especially when away. If she likes to go for coffee be sure to include the “go to” coffee shop in a prior conversation, maybe on the flight. Wake up early to be at the coffee shop, odds are she will go to the coffee shop you suggested, before she gets there.
In Greens article he suggests that downplaying your presence will make you noticeable in a room full of people trying to outshine everyone else. He says, “In contrast to them, you are serious and attentive...[when you do speak] interject with a relevant fact..”
At the bar/social gathering
The bar/bistro post-meeting fun
Obviously, getting sloshed and dancing on tables will get you noticed but it really is not the kind of attention you want. However, if your boss decides to let loose then make sure you are there to stop him from doing something or someone he might regret. Conversely, if they are reasonable then be casual and witty.
The idea of Green’s tactics is to be the “go to” person for your boss when you’re on a business trip and indispensable whenever a business trip comes to fruition. The tactics are not meant to just go through the motions. You will need to do the research and learn enough to integrate into our own personality to make it authentic.