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When one of us becomes one of them

“I’m the boss now and you do what I say”. Suddenly everyone realised that they may have made a very big mistake in encouraging their former team mate to apply for the managers post.
The manager left and we all encouraged a team mate to apply for the post. To be honest we were probably motivated by self interest rather than a belief that she had the necessary management skills. We wanted someone who would let us carry on working the way we were because we felt things were going rather well and we didn’t want to risk someone new coming in and wanting to do things differently.
She applied, was interviewed but didn’t get the job. The new manager had a very different management style and a very different back ground. She did things differently. We wanted the continuity candidate but the change candidate was appointed. In hindsight it was a good appointment the new manager stretched us and challenged us but most significantly she had the management experience and people skills to deal with a rather overconfident, resistant group of individuals. This came to mind when I learned a family friend was being encouraged to apply for the vacant team  managers post in her team.
Managing people who were previously your team mates presents a special type of challenge especially if it’s your first management post. How are your colleagues going to react when you start behaving like a manager not a friend or former ally?
Can you still socialise with team mates now you’re the boss or do they need space to moan about you the way you and they moaned about the last boss.
When I was training as a teacher I was told the deputy can sit in the staff room with the rest of us teachers but if they become head teacher they need to respect this space is sacrosanct and stay out.
There may be a close colleague who  wishes they hadn’t confided so much personal information now you’re the boss. Likewise your previous criticism of management may be recalled to your embarrassment now you’re in charge.
How are you going to feel about allocating work when you know who has been getting away with not doing their fair share and the resentment of others taking up the slack. Are you going to ask for volunteers, negotiate with individuals or simply distribute on who you believe has the capacity, no debate, no argument. Or are you going to do what the previous manager did allocate the more demanding work to those you trust even if this means they have a heavier workload than others.
How are you going to handle turning down an annual leave request on the first come first receive bases even though you know this individual’s personal circumstances, why they desperately need these dates and why it’s only now that they are making the request?  Are you going to stick to your new rule that there can be no more than two people off at any time, or risk allegations of favouritism? How are you going to deal with the team member who is persistently late ( child care issues) much to the annoyance of other team members and what about the Friday lunch time tradition of the pub lunch, something you participated in as a team member but now feel uncomfortable about as the manager.
If you feel ready and prepared to tackle these issues alongside others such as curtailing some people’s attendance on courses whilst insisting others attend. If you’re prepared to tackle the lax attitude to expenses claims. If you think you can go home on Friday evening as one of us and come to work at the same place with the same people on Monday morning as one of them , then ok. But wouldn’t it have been easier to start your management career with a new team?

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