I joint last month a huge company as Testing Manager. There will be a change in the organization and the person who is currenty in the Testing Manager position will be moving to a different position and will be reporting to me.

He will be acting a Senior Project Manager. It's still a good position but in fact he is really capable of doing my job, right now even better than me since he knows the company since 2000.

My question is: I want him in my team, but I'm not sure about how to motivate him and how to set new goals for him.
And my concern is that I have experience as manager but now he's better than me since he knwos all the internal processes.
Any recomendation? I'm not sure for example how to manage one on one meetings with someone who made a back step in his career.

Thank you

chapu's picture

Anyone can help? Did you have a similar case in your career?

arun's picture


I am not sure how you would do this in O3 or by using feedback but I have been through something similar where I was brought in as an outsider into a position to manage someone who had been in charge of the department for many years.

The only reason this person (A) did not get the job I took on was because he did not have the paper qualification! He otherwise had most of the necessary skills to do the job. This raised interesting situations in that I believe he felt that he was more entitled to the job than me.

The way I handled this was to get him to "buy in" to my ideas effectively using coaching rather than directing. Whenever we discussed problems, I would ask him how he would handle it, if his way was reasonable, I would let him solve the problem. If not, I would say something like "thats a good way but how about if we were to handle it this way?" We would then talk through my way and implement if we both felt that it was the correct way to handle the problem. Sometimes I would realise that there was a cultural issue or a historical issue which would not allow my method to work. He knew this because he had been there longer than me.

We have now worked very well together for five years and he has commented a number of times that he has learnt a lot from me. I suppose best compliment you could get from your staff.

My suggestion is work with him and capitalise on his knowledge and background of the company. Ask for his input [b]and[/b] implement if his way seems correct.

Hope I have given some insight.

Good luck

Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

I would treat this person as any other member of my team regarding one on ones and feedback.

I would be candid about his special role, and how much you hope to be able to count on him.

I would be candid that sometimes situations like this can be uncomfortable, and I would ask if he has concerns that he'd like to share about your role and his role.

I would regularly consult him on what he knows, what he thinks, and what he might do.

And then I would do what I thought best. If I ever did what he suggested (and it may very well be a great deal of the time), I would ALWAYS say thanks, and would reflect that in quarterly reviews and notes to MY boss.

He'll show himself to be a team player or not within 6 months. If he helps, shower him with praise. If not, be professional and give him lots of feedback while asking him to meet your standards.