Today, this message from your boss shows up in your e-mail inbox:
Subject: Want Climate Report
This request has come down from the CEO. I’m delegating it to you. See me a couple of days before the board meeting—the 4th of next month—so we can go over your presentation. I want a report on the climate for underrepresented groups in our organization. A presentation at the last board of directors’ meeting showed that while we do a good job of hiring women and minorities, few of them rise to the top. The directors suspect that our climate may not be supportive and want information on it. Please prepare a presentation for the next meeting. You’ll have 15 minutes.
Making a presentation to the company’s board of directors can really help your career. But preparing a good presentation and report will take time. You can look at exit reports filed by Human Resources when people leave the company, but you’ll also need to interview people—lots of people. And you’re already working 60 hours a week on three major projects, one of which is behind schedule. Can one of the projects wait? Can someone else take one of the projects? Can you get some help? Should you do just enough to get by? Ask your boss for advice—in a way that makes you look like a committed employee, not a shirker.