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I have recently been told by our CEO that I will be taking on a director role in the next 2-3 years. In this new position I will be managing a division that will include my boss of 14 years. She has held the position I will be taking over for that entire time, while I have worked my way up from entry level. What can I do in the time before the promotion to make the transition less dissruptive and to improve the relationship between the two of us. I believe that she is aware that it was an eventuality but there has been no discussion of a transition.

Mark's picture

Don't count your chickens.  It sounds to me like the only way you're going to be her boss is if she doesn't move.  THAT is in no way certain if we're talking 2-3 years from now.

Do what you I would hope you are already doing: deliver results, work on your relationship with her and others, and then deliver more results.

Results and relationships, results and relationships, results and relationships.

And so, DO NOT DARE MENTION SUCH A THING TO HER.

EVER.

Mark

stephenbooth_uk's picture

 I think the time to have that conversation is after the promotion has happened (if it does and she's still there).

I'm wondering about the 2-3 years timespan attached to this.  It sounds to me like a Dangle.  Given the fluidity of the business world it seems unlikely that anyone would plan that far ahead with any gfreat degree of certainty.  Till your gluteus maximus hits the director's chair you don't have it.

 Stephen

 

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afmoffa's picture

Going back years ago, I was hired as an assistant manager for a small chain of retail stores (five stores, 100 employees total). When I was hired, the company CEO told me he was worried they'd promoted the manager of my store too quickly due to an unexpected vacancy (yes, they were telling me this in the interview, I know, I know). The CEO and president hoped I would learn the ropes and, if things worked out, I'd replace the store manager in about a year. I was not to breathe a word of this to anyone.

It was a terrible position for me to be in. My boss had good instincts, he cared about his staff (including me). He was 24 and full of tattoos and piercings, and that raised some eyebrows in our chic stores, but he knew the product lines, he beat all his sales targets, he kept the peace among feuding sales associates. Once a week, the CEO would meet with him for an hour to go over the store's performance. About once a month, the CEO would then meet with me for a while, grooming me to take over. I was the only non-manager taking meetings with the CEO, and my boss got a little paranoid, but remained professional in his dealings with me.

And yes, that's pretty much what happened. I was assistant manager, then deputy manager, then I became the store manger. When that day came, they kept my predecessor (who had been my boss for that first year) at his same pay and title, but he became a "floating" manager, who drifted from store to store as needed. He still participated in upper-leadership meetings, but he was no longer scheduling employees or reporting sales figures.

Be dutiful, loyal, and friendly to your boss. If it does come to pass that you become your boss's boss, you be glad you laid the foundation for a good relationship. Once the move happens, IF it happens, you owe your boss dinner and as much of an explanation as professionalism and your terms of employment allow you. Don't let the unspoken go unresolved.

eagerApprentice's picture

Be careful with this kind of thing... I've always heard of bosses and CEOs offering this kind of thing.

Put your head down, do your work, and measure from within, not without.

If it all works as you think, that's great.

Plans were made to be broken, especially in business/career paths.

Adam

 

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