BLUF: I keep hearing people want me to be the next boss -- but our current boss isn't going anywhere. Do I need to respond?
I work in a support organization for a large university. Our chief is not well-respected, internally or externally. In fact, we are probably headed for a merger with another organization on campus, and many feel it is due to her mismanagement of our organization.
I've been a department head for about a year, and by using Manager Tools, have had good results with my department. A number of people in other departments have approached me about transferring in to my department, although I have not had many openings.
Here's where it gets weird. Colleagues I trust are reporting that many people in my organization have said they would like me to take the chief's role when she is gone. Others have directly told me they would like to see me in that position. I assure you I have never instigated these discussions nor mentioned any desire for that position.
I wouldn't mind that role, and I think I would probably do well. But... the chief isn't going anywhere that I can tell. I don't want to be cast in the position of plotting against her. Is there something I should say when people talk to me in this way? So far, I've just been bashfully shrugging my shoulders.