When an employee becomes a boss, there is apparently no notable change in the office atmosphere. The people are the same and the office culture is the same. Erstwhile peers of the new boss are the same, however, a change in the relationship might occur. In this article, we will talk about team management by new leaders. It also clarifies how to become a leader and understand the change in relationships.
Change in relationship
It is a matter of fact that an employee is made a leader due to his or her extraordinary performance. The trust of the upper echelons on his or her ability to control a team is also another reason behind an employee’s promotion to the position of a team leader. Since, the new boss and the erstwhile peers know each other; the former can get things done by his or her team. Moreover, all the team members are professionals and know how to successfully execute their work.
But, the problem lies in the new relationship. Both the sides i.e. the former peers and the new boss think that they know each other well. No one realizes that the relationship the two groups share is because of the role played by each other. But, relationships change with the change of roles. Thus, promotion to a better position becomes a challenge when a newly appointed boss has to cope with new relationships.
Handling the change in relationship
Therefore, it is quite clear that transition from an employee to a boss is a problematic issue as far as handling new responsibilities and managing former co-workers are concerned. The new team leader has to understand aspects, such as new challenges for his or her team, obtaining effective results, gaining the trust of former peers, enhancing proper communication with the team members, making a realistic approach to solve problems, etc.
Be careful in establishing authority
While the temptation to issue edicts is normal, a new leader has to realize that being too bossy is not effective in team management. He or she should also avoid being over protective and supportive of the former peers. This results in excessive camaraderie and results into making poor decisions. Therefore, the new leader should resort to the middle ground. It is suggested that the new boss does not start applying new rules, but start with consulting former peers who are now direct reports. Consultation suggests that the boss gives importance to the opinion of his team mates. After making consultations, he or she should take a decision. This shows that he or she is decisive and is accountable for the repercussions of the decisions.
Understand what is right for the team
Former teammates who are now direct reports may wonder that the new team leader may practice favoritism or even try to achieve success at the expense of the teammates. However, the new boss should do what he or she deems is right for the team and the company at large. A leader should be aware of the fact that hidden agendas making indirect use of direct reports are harmful for the team and the company. The former peers should realize that the new leader is particular about the work done and is ready to face the consequences of it. They should also realize that the new leader is careful to take fair decisions, so that the career growth and sentiments of his or her team members are not hurt.
Understand what to delegate
Delegation is an important component of leadership. A new team leader should realize what he or she is delegating to his or her direct reports. Specific tasks should be assigned to specific people according to their ability. To identify what task to delegate to which team member, the new leader has to build a team of efficient people, establish objectives to meet and create performance indicators to identify the extent of success. These goals are allocated to specific direct reports.
Communication is the life blood of good leadership. A new leader gets a bigger view of the business, but at the same time he or she is treated differently by former peers. It is common for new bosses to complain that they get filtered information from direct reports just because they are no more peers. To avoid this funneling of information, he or she should be open to all kinds of information. Direct reports who used to be former peers should feel that they will not be punished on sharing bad news. Also, they need not prepare confident answers when confronted with difficult situations, but should be equipped with strong plans to deal with the problems. To learn about happenings in the grassroots, he or she should communicate with front-line employees and customers. He or she should address ethical and legal concerns of subordinates.
Shuffle advice network
Leaders need two types of advice, one is technical and the other is technical. However, once an employee becomes a leader, his or her advisors may also need to be changed. Those who advised him or her before becoming a leader may not serve the purpose in the new situation. The new advisors should be more knowledgeable about the latest projects and position.
Deal with disappointed former peers
When the process of promotion ends, many peers are disappointed because they were not selected by the management to lead the team. A new leader should understand that there may be such disappointed members who will take time to accept the new leadership. If a direct report performs well, his or her performance should be acknowledged and if the opposite happens, a new leader should help the direct reports in finding alternative opportunities to prove their worth.
In a nutshell
The article illustrates the requisites for a new leader. A new leader should be aware of the changed dynamics in relationship and work accordingly. But, he or she should be careful not to hurt the sentiments of former peers. The one and only focus of the new leader should be the success of the team and the company.