Two months ago my boss confided some organizational changes to me that primarily meant a major change in my role and that of my department.

Evidently he feels I would be better suited in a more specialist role in the company because he feels the size of my dept has out grown my ability to manage it. I have utilized MT tools to, I think good purpose, but I guess I have come up short. In the end I feel I have done the best job I know how given allotment of resources.

Typical of my boss, who is not a detail guy, it is basically up to me to define a new role with another group he has suggested I move into. One plus is, I have a good relationship with the person with whom I would report. I also think a new position would allow me time to reset and think about what a good next step is for me. My current position is very much a pressure cooker, which to a certain extent I am glad to be relieved of.

Anyway its been close to two months, I've discussed changes with my boss's boss, I've given heads up to some of my staff because I think they have the right to know, yet my boss seems to be hesitant to formally make any changes. I think part of problem is he is not a hands on boss and he is unsure about how to realign things.

The end result is I'm nervous and frustrated, my staff's nervous... and these impending changes are seriously distracting my staff and me from working through a very busy period.


Was it a good move to inform some of my staff about impending changes?One team member is particularly upset because he doesn't like prospect of working for my envisioned replacement and I think he is nervous how it will impact his position. Basically I let the cat out of bag because I feel pretty bad about keeping secrets, especially when people are working hard for me and thinking we are moving ball forward didn't feel quite right.

My sounding board on my team thinks I should take bull by horns and propose a transition plan to my boss. As I am rather unmotivated by the whole plan, or lack there of , I find it hard to do this. Any thoughts here?

Davis Staedtler's picture


This is tough stuff. It's easy to feel alone, but many of us have been in a similar situation. Here are my thoughts.

• You can't (won't) change your boss's mind, nor plot his course.
* You're right. Your boss doesn't know what he's going to do. It's because he's a bad manager.
* Schedule time to talk with your boss. Be sure he has everything he needs from you to formally make the changes.
* I can tell you feel bad for your former co-workers. I would too. Take them for coffee, shake their hand, then move on. It sounds harsh, but their emotional cost is their own, not yours.
* You have a new group, new job, and a new person to report to soon. If you can begin reporting to that person now, set up time to speak with them. Ask what's expected of you, and what results are needed. Congratulations on your new role. Be proud, and work hard.



ken_wills's picture

You say the boss "confided" to describe the manner in which the information was shared with you.  You've broken that confidence. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but you were told something in confidence, and you shared it with others in the organization.  That's not a good practice.

Just to answer the question you asked in the title of your post: IMO, yes, you were wrong to let the cat out of the bag.

buddhawtb's picture


Thanks for words of encouragement. I liked your insights. 


I have to agree with you. In retrospect it was a major gaffe. Soon after I yacked to a report he marched down to HR to voice his concerns about the rumored organizational changes, ouch! 

ps - The latest is my boss now wants me to stay put managing half my old group. I think his boss was less than pleased with his plans...I thinks it's time to move on, start fresh. If nothing else i've learned a lot in the past couple of miserable months. 



jhbchina's picture

Bummer how things turned out. You are doing the right things by reflecting 'what you could have done differently".

Did you clarify the transition process with some simple questions "What is the next step", "What is the on-board date of my new role?" What loose ends need to be done with all involved parties?" "Who will drive them?"  If you don't get answers, then lay low till you get confirmation that it will happen.

Good Luck

JHB  "00"

asm1105's picture

Quick answer: Wrong to let the cat out of the bag. Nothing is certain until its official - perhaps your boss was "testing" your reaction on an out of the box idea he hadn't yet discussed with his boss?

Next steps: Start fresh. Have a chat with your boss about where you stand. He created a problem by checking your opinion without the will to follow through. Do not admit to having "let the cat out of the bag". If he knows, your integrity and his trust is gone - look for another job. If you can't see a future at the firm given your new view of things, consider other job opportunities in the firm or outside.

The past is already played out. Consider its impact on your future and either reconcile yourself to it or move on.

Good luck