5 Things You Can Do For Your Leader

Maybe your leader isn’t doing everything you want. For you. For the team. It can be frustrating. You ask for so little, but you’re just not getting it. What to do? How about model the behaviour you’d like to see from your leader. Here’s a few things you can do that may result in a good outcome for you and your colleagues. Is this about getting what you want through artful manipulation? No. It’s about being the change you want to see. Simple.

1. Thank them.

Thank them for something. Anything. Well, maybe not anything. But when was the last time you thanked your team leader, your supervisor, your manager for a job well done? Perhaps they just navigated their way through difficult negotiations. Perhaps they finally got you the new equipment you need. Maybe they put the team – and not themselves – first when budgeting for courses and conferences.  Thank them.

2. Recognize them.

Thank them in front of others (unless it would make them uncomfortable). Or nominate them for an official recognition. Include leaders when you name those who have helped you. Sure, it’s their job to run things, champion things, guide people. But it can be tough, thankless work. Recognize them for it in some small way. A few words of recognition. A cookie. A book. A coffee.

3. Include them.

Some leaders avoid socializing with their team, because they never know when they might have to put on their Leader Hat and be the tough talking manager. Regardless, it never hurts to extend an invitation. Team going for pizza after a tough week? Include them. Drinks after work? Include them. The value is in the invitation – not in whether or not they are willing or able to accept it. No one likes to be left out. Including leaders.

4. Ask them.

They have skills, experience and knowledge. Ask them stuff. Big questions. Little questions. Tough questions. Now, don’t overwhelm them. But do ask them. Questions are a great way of showing them that you value their input and appreciate their experience. Ask them.

5. Remember that they’re human.

And treat them accordingly.

Tracy McCabe is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Hannah Moss

Great tips! We often think about how leaders can help others, and rarely remember that they need support to. Thanks for the reminder!

Tim Johnson

As a leader you just don’t hear much thanks from your staff…but…you do hear loudly when they do not get what they want or really need. I try to explain to them that many times you just can’t reason with Senior Management. Unfortunately, they have bigger fish to fry and our unit is only a small cog on the wheel. It would be nice to hear thanks even if my staff knows that I always have their backs and I am the one that is ultimately responsible for any and all errors.


I think we all tend to forget to thank our leaders. Here’s hoping 2015 brings you the acknowledgement you deserve. Thanks for commenting, Tim.