Moving from Peer to Boss

One of the most difficult things that happens to people in their careers is moving from a peer to a boss. So, the problems with that—there’s quite a few—one, typically you don’t get any training. You’re really good at the function, so they put you into this new role and they say, “okay, make these things happen. You’ve got these six people, get them to do what you need them to do.” …and that’s it. But there’s other problems, right? You are friends with these folks and that you’re now the boss of them, there’s ways to manage that stress, and there’s ways to manage those relationships. One of the best ways I’ve found to do is just to have a frank conversation with everybody. Understand what their point of view is. So, empathy goes a long way in this new role. You want to become a new supervisor—a lot of people go into it like a sergeant in the army, whereas I think just the opposite needs to take place. Yes, you still need some responsibility there, but what we need to get is some empathy and to understand where the other folks are coming from. What you’re asking of them; from their point of view; the struggles that they’re going to have and with that you’re going to be a much more effective leader.