You have mastered your domain – now manage your boss

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Jul 20

Have you mastered your domain at work but are under appreciated? The way to fix that is to educate your boss on what “Domain Masters” like you look like and how they can get the best performance from you.

What is a Domain Master?

Domain Masters aren’t big talkers or attention seekers, but they are outstanding at their jobs. They complete their work flawlessly without causing conflict with other team members or stakeholders. They are good problem-solvers who don’t have to lean on their boss to generate solutions. They know all the people, processes and technologies in their domain inside and out.

Domain Masters face their share of obstacles but they don’t create drama in overcoming them. They rarely, if ever, complain about anything or anyone. Domain Masters never seem to need assistance and they are always the first to offer a helping hand to others.

Domain Masters enjoy their jobs and are content to stay in it for the foreseeable future. They tend to enjoy the balance they have achieved between their professional and personal lives. They have found their niche at work and aren’t trying to climb the corporate ladder. They’re great at their job and love being the master of their domain at work.

Sound familiar? If you want to see if you are a Domain Master, take this assessment.

Are you under appreciated?

Because Domain Masters are not the “squeaky wheels,” they often don’t get all the attention they deserve. It’s easy for their boss to take them for granted. Other people on the team might get more of their boss’ attention, resources and recognition not because they deserve it more than the Domain Master, but just because they are more vocal.

While Domain Masters aren’t the type to complain, it doesn’t mean they don’t notice the inequity. Left unaddressed for too long, that inequity might eventually build up too much and one of those recruiting pitches from other managers might just hit the spot.

What do you need from your boss?

You’re never going to be a squeaky wheel – it is not your personality. You are proud to let your outstanding results speak for you. Your boss isn’t a mind reader though and does not know what you value and need unless you tell them.

You’re not a self-promoter so you would never ask your boss to take the time to apply for one of the company awards for you. But if she did, it would mean a lot to you. You’re a practical person who doesn’t define their status by having the latest cool phone or ergonomic chair. But if your boss bought one for you, you would enjoy it and appreciate the thought.

You enjoy being the “go to” person to train all your colleagues and don’t mind the extra time it adds to your work day. But if your boss explicitly gave you “extra credit” for that in your annual performance review, you would think that was fair.

You are a cost-conscious person who is very tight in spending the company’s money. But if someone is going to go to the annual industry conference in San Diego this year, why shouldn’t it be you?

So if you’re a Domain Master, do your boss a favor and suggest they read this article. Even better, suggest they read our new book that lays out strategies for leading Domain Masters and the seven other types of team members on every team.


– Victor Prince is Managing Director of DiscoveredLOGIC, a strategy consulting and training firm. He is also the co-author of Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide their Teams to Exceptional Results.