Home > Uncategorized > You’re in charge: how do you tell your former peers?

You’re in charge: how do you tell your former peers?

I recently met a woman who was promoted from within an organization that had gone leaderless for a very long time. They had been managed from two levels up, had gone through a series of temporary managers from other departments, and were in continuous triage mode. Finally a new department head was selected from outside and after a 6 month selection process selected her from within. She was now in charge of a branch which was filled with some very interesting characters including a peer with 10 more years of experience in the field than her and a new hire who was changing careers but had a lot of prior leadership experience, both had competed for the position.

What now? The woman was faced with subordinates who had no purpose, direction, or motivation and two employees who thought they should be in charge. So how does she establish her authority and begin to develop a team?

One way I have seen this problem successfully handled was for the new manager meet with each individual and discuss expectations Both people can explain what they expect of each other and the new supervisor can explain the behaviors they reward and punish, and the leadership philosophy of the new manager. Once the meeting is over put in writing what both sides expect.

The managers expectations will be the standard to which all are held. The employees expectations give the new manager a chance to gain some insight into how the employees think. These discussions are the beginning of the bigger job for the manager of developing their leadership philosophy and providing the department a purpose, direction and motivation they will need to succeed.

What are methods you have seen work for the new manager who must start by establishing their authority in the workplace?

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