Your route to the top: Go from buddy to boss

The sooner you accept you're no longer 'one of the gang', the sooner you'll flourish in your new role.

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Make a deal. Create verbal contracts with ex-buddies early on. Set ground rules for working together and discuss likely problems. Cement your new dynamic by leading the conversation.

Be fair. According to psychologists, impartiality is a challenge for new managers. If a friend demands special treatment, ask yourself if you'd do the same for others. If not, say no. Firmly.

Keep it in. Disastrous client meeting? Impossible targets? Feel like ranting at a friend? Tough. Emotional outbursts erode credibility and respect. Save the tears and tantrums for home.

Fill the void. Your new role will mean withdrawing from familiar behaviour. Combat uncertainty by recognising what you miss (brainstorms) and what it provided (a stimulating exchange of ideas), then find a substitute (a book club).

Watch your ego. Author Jim Collins found that the most successful companies have a humble CEO. Engage your new team by welcoming their views and publicly praising their contributions. Remember: you're the manager, not the messiah.

Tame your talk. There's a fine line between sharing information and compromising confidentiality. If chats become inappropriate, remind the group of your position. If it's you who has the loose tongue, stop talking and get out.

Recapture confidence. Plagued by self-doubt? Write down five things people have praised you for in your new role and reread whenever you need a boost.

Remember the bad times. It's easy to look back with rose-tinted lenses. List the frustrations of your old role, then what you love about the new one. Still miss the good old days?

Celebrate. You got this job because you deserve it.

The Mind Gym: Relationships is published by Little, Brown at £12.99

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

The CEO's guide to switching off

Too much hard work is counterproductive. Here four leaders share how they ease the pressure....

What Lego robots can teach us about motivating teams

People crave meaningful work, yet managers can so easily make it all seem futile.

What went wrong at Debenhams?

There are lessons in the high street store's sorry story.

How to find the right mentor or executive coach

One minute briefing: McDonald’s UK CEO Paul Pomroy.

What you don't want to copy from Silicon Valley

Workplace Evolution podcast: Twitter's former EMEA chief Bruce Daisley on Saturday emails, biased recruitment and...

Research: How the most effective CEOs spend their time

Do you prefer the big, cross-functional meeting or the one-to-one catch-up?