I love asking folks who’ve done well in their careers for their “standard” career advice. It is always fascinating to hear about the principles they believe matter most in career success. I heard a piece of advice recently I call MVR (similar to MVP) – Most Valuable Report.

This piece of career advice was – “Develop an understanding of what your manager is evaluated on, what she/he most needs help on, and become their most valuable direct report.”

I loved this piece of advice as I thought it was both practical (versus, say, “follow your passion”) and powerful in its implications. Everyone has managers – if you don’t report to anyone, you likely have to deal with a board, shareholders, or powerful customers.

Managing that relationship well is among the highest value things we do