Supervisory Leadership

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Wally Bock Answers Your
Supervisory Leadership Question

I've just been promoted and I'm supervising people I've worked with.

When your colleague becomes your boss or when you get promoted and are asked to supervise former colleagues, you're facing one of the toughest situations there is. Here are a couple of things to know about the transition.

The reason that the transition from individual contributor to boss is one of the toughest in business is that your work, role and support system all change at the same time. Some of the folks who may have been part of your support system may now not be able to fill that role.

Second, the transition isn't quick or easy. A successful transition usually takes 12 to 18 months. But your company's expectations and your own are often that the transition will only take a couple of days, or a month at most.

There are two kinds of behavior that new supervisors usually exhibit. There's "Boss" behavior where they accentuate the hierarchy, give orders and expect compliance. There's "Buddy" behavior where the new boss tries to be everybody's friend. Neither one works alone.

That's why folks who make a successful transition try both and then spend some time developing a style that balances the twin jobs of supervisor: accomplish the mission and care for the people.

Wally

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