Submitted by huntbk on
I'm sure this has been covered here before. I'm fairly new, so please bear with me. :)
I am on a team of five managers. After the first of the year, I will be the manager of this team. I've been working with them for a year, and we are all good friends on a casual level as well as co-workers. What's the best way to go from "pal" to manager?
From Friends to Directs
Review this thread:
I made a similar transition in September. I was one of 6 worksite managers and was promoted to Plant Manager.
It was awkward and uncomfortable for the first 90 days but started to improve there after. What worked for me in part was the introduction of one on ones and continuing to behave as best I could with our existing decision making style and group communication. I down played my position emphasized the importance each manager had and the need for me to support them in their roles so we all could be successful
From Friends to Directs
If it is bumpy-going, remember Mark's advice about the first 90 days and take it easy on yourself. Things have been the way they are for a long time, probably, and you don't have to re-shoe the horse tonight. You can take some time to figure out what is going on.
Get used to peers becoming reports. If you practice management the MT way, you will be promoted repeatedly, and you will therefore have this experience over and over again with each new layer of seniors becoming peers becoming reports as you punch through each layer... or rather... are pulled through each layer by needy management who don't know how you do it, but want it done another level up.
This happened to me...
I was promoted to manage a department of peers a couple of years ago. Needless to say I was really excited and at the time. I didn't really think about the impact of managing people who were once peers... I guess I figured my "role" as their boss would carry me.
This lasted for about two weeks when I had a shouting match with one of my directs. :-( He eventually quit a day later without having another job. At the time, this was a low point in my career and I was really questioning my ability to be a manager.
This is about the time I stumbled upon manager tools and I started implementing their tools and techniques.
I found that I had to work doubly hard to prove myself to my employees and found myself constantly having to walk a very fine line. I realized that my directs started picking apart every word I would say and that I had to chose my words and behaviors very very carefully.
Then, I learned to shift my focus from individual task master to enabling team member to accomplish more than what they could on their own. Learning these two key concepts was the beginning of me becoming a successful manager.
Trust me, there was a huge learning curve, filled with obstacles and resistance... but once people realized that I was on their side and that I was qualified and able to lead the team, I was able to leverage the relationships I developed prior to my promotion to become even more successful.
I even got promoted again last month!!!
My advice to you is to play it cool, stick with it, and allow yourself to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect and if you continue to improve, your team will see it and rally behind you.