My biggest challenge today is that I was promoted from an individual contributor to a manager and am now managing 8 of my former peers and am also pulling my team in a entirely new direction. Let me also say that one of my now directs interviewed for this position that I now hold. I have been in the role 4 months now. Some of my directs who use to be my peers are being rather difficult and struggling with seeing me as their manager. I have received a lot of push back and questioning related to my vision and direction for the team.

I listened to the Career Tools podcast "I am a former peer" from the perspective of the peer however, I am looking for advice and recommendations for the manager not the direct. Are there any podcasts or resources you could direct me to from the manager's perspective? Thank you in advance for your help!!

svibanez's picture

Congratulations on your promotion!  There's a series of casts that address your situation: - 2013-05-31 - 2013-05-31 - 2013-05-31

You said one of your directs actually interviewed for the position, but seems as though some of the others are jealous as well (did they apply and not get to interview?).  I would apply this guidance to all of them.  Which is handy since it basically says to treat them all the same.

All the best in your new position and with moving your team in a new direction!


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drenn18's picture
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I manage a team of about 40. 15 or so are former peers. I haven't been a manager long, so I can't claim to have solutions. I can tell you some things work for me:

I'm leveraging and building upon the strongest relationships from before I was promoted. These people are proving to be effective at converting the "undecided" staff (those who haven't decided if they like me yet). 

I made a mistake of assuming my former peers would behave/communicate the same as they did before I was their boss. I'm more aware each day of the flashing red sign on my forehead described my Mark.

I strongly suggest reading "The Heart of Change" by John Kotter. I'm on chapter 2 and have already identified a few effective behaviors for gaining support for initiatives.

Good luck. Keep us informed.

crigney's picture

@Drenn18 Thank you for the book recommendation! I will definitely look into this one. Appreciate your help!

drenn18's picture
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If you have any recommendations for managing a team of 30 individuals let me know!

Faye1920's picture

 I am going through the same things. After my promotion was announced one of my former peers (and now direct report) took me aside to say he wasn't happy and walked away and its been awkward for sure.


What I have done is allowed the team to get out their frustrations and then ask them how we can make the transition easier -so far its worked.

GlennR's picture

  1. If I were in your shoes, I would use 03's, group meetings, and other meetings/communications to gain feedback and buy-in on the new direction. If your team feels like it has input into the final vision, they're more likely to support it.
  2. Life is ruled by the Bell curve. You will bring more people over to your management philosophy and vision over time. Identify those that have the most respect and spend more time cultivating them,especially if they are senior in terms of experience. But know that there will be a few who may never come around. Hopefully, they'll leave or transfer to another team or department.
JustHere's picture

 I agree.  I wish I had known about O'3s many years ago as a new manager.  I became the manager of a colleague who I had sat next to for several years.  Now we were not very chummy, just office friendly, but she resisted everything I asked her to do.  Her ego had been greatly hurt by the situation, and I later learned she had gotten demoted a few years earlier.  I just became her target.  Eventually she moved on, but I wish I had those O'3's to build a bridge instead of trying to put out fires.