A reader writes:
My boss got me a spot raise and a promotion this year. I'd like to give him a gift--is it appropriate? I was thinking either a bottle of booze or one of those inspirational prints (the former being old school and latter being wimpy/politically correct). What kind of gift do you think is appropriate? Obviously the first thing I should do is to continue deliver results for the company ;>
Hmmm, I wouldn't give him a gift. After all, you earned that raise and promotion! A gift doesn't feel right.
However, what I would love in his shoes (far more than even a bottle of booze) is a heartfelt note telling him that you appreciate that he went to bat for you, as well as noting anything else you appreciate about working with him. That would have a lot more meaning and I'd keep it for years. Being the boss can be a thankless job; when people notice the ways you've helped them, it really feels great.