Five Ways to Most Effectively Kiss Ass and Get Ahead

Matty Kerr is co-creator with John Brancaccio of The Working Experience. He is also a filmmaker and published author. Listen to our podcast on iTunes and Spotify and visit our website: for videos, merchandise and more. You can also find us on Facebook, Linked In, Instagram, and Twitter.

Kissing ass is a time honored method for getting ahead. While some people may look down on the practice, those people are idiots. I mean, what do you want to do, stay late, work hard, take on extra projects and be proactive? Hell no. That is for chumps.

  1. Ask your boss, “Hey where do you work out?” This implies that he/she looks fit and is a lot better way to ingratiate yourself than by saying, “Wow, you look great!” which can come off as obvious and maybe even creepy. Plus, your boss might be a mess.

2. Learn what your boss likes (skiing, golf, boating etc.) and get into it. This is a great way to get “facetime” with the head honcho or at least have something to talk with them about. As a meeting is breaking up you can say, “Man, great weekend on the slopes!” Or, “Jeez, I gotta work on my backswing.” That can be a great conversation starter. Of course, you may have no interest in it at all and the knowledge that you are only doing it to impress your boss will totally ruin it but hey, that’s the price you pay.

3. Your boss gives a directive or has a “great idea”. It is probably totally inane but that is no matter. Wait a couple of days and then send him or her a follow up email further exploring the idea. Find a few talking points about it online, something like, “I see that this worked at such and such a company…” Throw in a chart or two. Then ask a few questions. Make sure you copy all of your coworkers on the email.

4. Learn his or her kids’ names and ask about them. Ask about trophies, honors, achievements etc. People love talking about their kids. Hopefully their kid isn’t a total spaz who is a bottomless pit of despair for your boss. But, if that is the case, you can always say something encouraging like, “You know, a lot of kids are late bloomers.” Or some bullshit like that.

5. An over the top gift is always a winner. Make sure you give it in a public forum. Find out when their spouse or partner’s birthday is and get him or her a gift. Make sure you give it in a public forum such as a meeting. Then you can look at your coworkers with a puzzled expression as if to say, “Gee, you didn’t get gift for So and So?” It will make then feel like crap.



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Matty Kerr

Matty Kerr

Co-creator and cohost of The Working Experience Podcast. We explore what people do for work, how they do it and how they feel about it. Twice a week!