Now You're the Boss...

Learning How to Manage Former Peers

Managing former peers.

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Becoming "the boss" can change almost everything – and it can change nothing.

Sure, you have more power. And you can influence your former peers in completely new ways. But you're still the same person.

Suddenly, though, the things you say have more importance, and your former teammates look to you for answers, not just ideas.

What do you do with this newly found power? It may be tempting to make the changes that you always wanted, order people to do what you want to be done, and feel good about your new promotion. However, this type of behavior may not win you much respect or cooperation.

But you probably don't want to use the opposite approach either. A new boss who tries to remain "one of the guys" can end up frustrating everyone. When you're more concerned about friendships than results, poor decisions are usually inevitable. If you're afraid of being called "bossy," you may not hold people accountable, or you may avoid making unpopular decisions.

So, how do you manage the difficult learning curve of becoming a boss, and the delicate balance of leading former peers? There's no immediate or easy solution, and you won't be perfect. However, by understanding the challenges and by keeping an open mind, you can develop new ways to relate to your team that are effective and produce results.

The Changes and Challenges

As a newly-promoted boss, many or all of the following may apply to you:

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