Recently, a colleague and friend obtained the position of director of our service. He is one of our best experts, but I doubt his ability to be the leader we need. He means well, but he can sometimes be intransigent and impatient. How can I help her? – Chantal
Your co-worker has just made what is probably the most difficult transition of their career: going from high performer to manager of a team. On Friday you are a valued colleague and on Monday you become the boss of your colleagues. Experienced managers will tell you that they had all underestimated the extent and complexity of the gap between these two postures. Beyond a simple change of role, this transition requires a redefinition of its identity. It takes time and support. Luckily, you can help her more than you think.
Since you know him well, help him become aware of the potential pitfalls that await him. Data shows that 65-75% of employees say their boss is the most challenging aspect of their job. Common complaints can be many and are well documented, including not trusting enough, not listening well enough, being more critical than grateful, creating a climate of fear, and lacking courage.
Back to your situation. Since you’re friends, he might show some favoritism towards you. You will need to discuss with him, as soon as possible, the best way to redefine the relationship between you. You call him uncompromising, a common facet of successful people who set high expectations for themselves. He can then be just as demanding of his staff and show a lack of recognition since doing well is “normal” in his eyes.
Being impatient, he can sometimes have a variable mood and thus destabilize several members of the team. Draw their attention to potential flaws and pay attention to what co-workers will say about their new boss. Be his eyes and ears in the service, while being discreet about your sources, in order to help him adjust to his new role.
In your question, what I find most interesting is the remark that your friend wants to make as a boss. But, like the vast majority of managers, he is an imperfect boss. He will need help to improve his impact and change certain behaviors.
Of course, it is up to the organizations to provide this assistance. But I also invite you to adopt the posture of an ally rather than a passive subordinate. Here are some suggestions that go in this direction.