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Now You’re the Boss

Now You’re the Boss

You've just been promoted.

After receiving congratulations from your friends at work, you realize that you'll now be supervising those same people. As you begin working on the next level, you need to build important new relationships with senior management without alienating your old co-workers. Keep in mind that the way that you are perceived by your old and new peers can be as important as the quality of the work that you do. How can you best take on new roles of authority and responsibility? While every situation is unique, there are some universal strategies that can ease you into your new role with confidence. The following steps should help you make the transition from bossed to boss.

  • Make a graceful exit from your old position. This means wrapping up projects, leaving clean files with current updates, and paving a smooth path for your successor.
  • Create good relationships early on. Make a pointed effort to meet your new colleagues and all the staff who'll be working for you. Learn what their responsibilities are.
  • Speak the language of inclusion. Rather than using "I" sentences at staff meetings, consider using "we" and "our" sentences. This will foster a sense of collaboration.
  • Show trust in your staff. They'll put more pride in their work and appreciate your faith in them.
  • Utilize your new employees' strengths. Appeal to the experience and knowledge of staff members who are older than you. Find out what motivates your younger employees, then set goals for them.
  • Lead by example, and your staff will follow. Management training can help you learn many techniques for handling people in a business environment.
  • Don't get bogged down in details. Now you need to focus on getting results from others. You should spend time on broader issues and delegate responsibility to your direct reports.
  • Be sensitive to corporate culture. Resist the temptation to change standard operating procedures too quickly, before you fully understand the environment.
  • Develop a style of management that is fair and consistent. Supervise employees equally, even if you are managing old friends or people you don't particularly like.
  • Seek out a new set of professional peers and mentors. Your fellow managers can provide excellent advice, feedback, politics and history related to your job.
  • Strive for personal balance. You may feel like you have less time for family and hobbies, but it's important than ever to maintain balance between work and play. The right combination will keep you more focused.

A promotion can be exciting, challenging, rewarding, and even stressful. But the key to climbing the corporate ladder with confidence is to be aware of crucial issues and take proactive steps to prevent them from becoming problems.