Hi folks, long time listener, haven't posted in many years.

I've been receiving 'heads up' information from my boss that I will be promoted to manage a team of 7-9, in the second half of this year. My boss has solid relationships further up the ladder, and with his peers, and he's a High C, so I largely expect this to be accurate.

Over the past two years, I've been working for him as one of a handful of PMs that helps run and oversee a larger group of ICs. My boss has been line manager for the PMs and the ICs.

In the new model, the group will expand, there will be only a few managers reporting to him, and then PMs and ICs will report to this new middle tier, which I may be a part of.

Some of my questions, I'd love to talk further about any of them on in this thread:

*Going from Matrix PM to this any easier than going from IC to Manager?

*Going from 0 to 8 directs...special challenges with that large of a group?

*Would it be shooting myself in the foot to ask for a smaller group to start? I'm only 31, I'm confident, and I'll put MT thinking in place, but I'm still risk-adverse.

*Is this 'really' a promotion, since it's the creation of a new level? The ICs are moving a level away from the CEO, while I stay the same distance I am today, just a strange way of looking at it!


JWasong's picture

 Hello Jon,

Being a matrix PM is good preparation for being a manager. You've likely learned a lot about leading others without using role power. That experience will be a big advantage. You may not have developed that skill as fully as an IC.

Going from 0 to any number of directs has it's challenges. Just remember that more people means more relationships and communication. It sounds as though you have demonstrated what it takes to be successful in this new role. Trust yourself and your manager. Keep following the MT guidance and you'll do quite well with the team of 8. You'll also make mistakes, like the rest of us, so learn from them and don't beat yourself up too much.

I would certainly consider this a promition. The key thing is the new opportunities this role has for you and not how many levels you are from the top. I'm actually closer to the CEO than my matrix manager, who's officially a higher level than me. He's still my boss so that distance measurement is really arbitrary. It's all about your scope of responsibiltiy and how much you can contribute to your company's success.

A couple of things that would be good to do: First, revisit some of the casts about managing former peers, the first 90 days, and the trinity. You'll approach things a bit differently in the new mangement position. Second, take this opportunity to prepare with your boss. Put together a plan for what you'll do to prepare for the new role. Present it to your boss and ask if there's anything else he/she would recommend. Even if the new role doesn't happen after all, I would appreciate a direct doing this with me. High Cs like plans too. Just make sure you create the plan and don't ask your boss to do it.

Best of luck.