When You Become the Boss, Build Your Credibility

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Managing people who used to be your peers is tough. You need to establish your authority without acting like the promotion’s gone to your head. Here are three ways to make the transition easier:

  • Tread lightly at first. Don’t introduce any major overhauls right away. Identify a few small decisions you can make fairly quickly, but defer bigger ones until you’ve been in the role longer.
  • Be actively present. Spend time with each of your new direct reports. Ask, “What can I do to make you more successful?” This question shows that you’re in charge, but also conveys that you’re there to support them.
  • Look beyond your team. During this type of transition, it’s easy to become focused on your former peers. But don’t forget to build connections with new counterparts and your new boss.

Adapted from “How to Manage Your Former Peers” by Amy Gallo.

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