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From Colleague to Leader

The appointment from colleague to manager opens the door to new opportunities, but also to many pitfalls and conflicts.

"I'm still me! Therefore, I must be able to expect the same loyalty of my employees as when we were colleagues"

It comes down to many that the leadership role changes other people's views on one. Even if you're still the same person who before you became a leader, your role has changed. The relationship between your former colleagues and you is fundamentally changed.

You should therefore raise awareness and prepare yourself to free yourself and your employees from past perceptions, and make clear what your new role is in the past. Create a management room.

"I can easily continue to be a friend - or even a friend with my former colleagues, even though I'm their boss"

For example, it could be a problem if you mix your friendly relationships with job division decisions for your employees.

It's important that you're the leader of all your employees and don't exercise positive or negative treatment.

Avoid credibility problems by not letting your personal symmetry or antipathy affect your objectivity. All decisions must be based on objectivity - not friendliness.

"The most important thing for me as a new leader is to be popular with my former colleagues"

The idea of ​​being unpopular isn't weird. As a leader and decision-maker you shouldn't expect that you're always equally popular.

If you're looking for recognition and popularity in your leadership role, you should consider whether you can achieve the same anywhere else than your workplace. Of course, you shouldn't seek to become unpopular. But popularity can be bought too expensive and the price can be your credibility as a leader.

"When I meet with criticism, it's just because people are envious"

It can be very sudden to be the target of former colleagues' criticism, whether it's justified or not. If there has also been internal competition for the management job, you may have been the leader of several employees who feel overlooked.

Create a forum in the workplace where there is room for constructive criticism, so both you and your employees can learn from the criticism.

"I don't want to get up and play boss"

The conflict leader may be tempted to take decisions as discussions or presentations, so that the decision made can be implemented anyway. Clear and unambiguous announcements to employees are important.

As a leader, it's your job to make demands on your employees and make decisions, even though it may seem unpleasant. It's you who choose how and to what extent you want to involve the employees - not the other way around.

"When I can't discuss issues with / entrust myself to my former colleagues, I better manage it all myself"

It can sometimes feel "lonely at the top" when you go from colleague to manager. There will be some information you no longer get and areas you can't discuss with employees as you could when you were colleagues.

All managers need professional sparring, but also care and support. And it's perfectly legal to search elsewhere than among colleagues or at home. Participation in a management network may be what you need.

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