How Do You Effectively Lead And Manage Your Former Coworkers

Full Transcript Below

[ANNOUNCER]: Breaking down everyday workplace issues and diagnosing the hidden sickness not just the obvious symptom, our hosts James and Coby.


[COBY]: Did we lose a patient?


[JAMES]: No that’s just my lunch.


[COBY]: Hey thanks for joining us. I’m Coby, he’s James, so let’s get started with a question. How do you effectively lead and manage your former co-workers?


[JAMES]: I think there are two big topics that I want to share. So the two things that I would say right off the bat is that you need to understand how to set and manage expectations, which is the advice that we give to all managers new or experienced as kind of the key management skill that you need to develop. The other piece more specific to how do you actually lead those… like so if you’ve just been promoted into a job, into a management role, and you are leading your former team. What I would say is to, very along with managing expectations and saying that up front, you need to understand the difference between being friendly and being friends. Because in my view you should be… as a manager you should be friendly, you should be approachable, you should be cordial, you should treat everybody to create a welcoming environment. You are not there to be friends necessarily. And this can be really challenging if you’ve already had pre-existing friendships in the workplace. If it was a, you know, your colleagues, your work friends, you know that might be a little bit easier to make that distinction. But if you have a close personal friend that you’re working with, that’s going to require some more effort, and some more strategy around. Because as the manager, you cannot be showing favoritism to your friends.


[COBY]: Yeah, and I think that’s good advice. But I think that last bit is a more… there’s more complexity to it than kind of just that, you know, friend and friendly piece. Because, I mean it is good advice. But I think that you also just need to acknowledge that it’s a very complex thing. Because sometimes it is especially… especially because if you’ve got you know long-standing friendships or you’ve got long relationships with people. Or especially if you’re in a type of job where the nature of the job is hectic or chaotic and you really form strong bonds. Then it’s a much harder line to walk. But I do think though that it’s, that if people take your answer not as two different pieces of advice. But as one connected piece of advice; you need to manage expectations and know the difference between friends and friendly. I think that’s probably really the best approach for it. Because you want to make sure that you are clear, and everything is kind of ‘cards on the table’, and people know what to expect of you, and what you expect of them. But to also make sure that the line between friend and friendly isn’t something that you keep secret. It’s something that you’re overt with and you make clear about when they can come to you as their longtime friend, or when they come to you as their boss. And sometimes allowing for a bit of flexibility in how that’s handled. But knowing that you know that the dynamics have changed, so they have to adjust to those new dynamics.


[JAMES]: What I like about this question is that it’s a common situation that a lot of people find themselves in. We’ve actually in been apart of every side of this discussion. Personally I have gone from working with a close-knit team to stepping into the leadership, the management role of that existing team. We, a big part of when we’re working with clients in developing performance frameworks and build, helping them to build their workplace culture. We are looking at internal succession planning as a key aspect of employee growth and development. So hire, you know, promoting people internally to take over teams, this is something that we deal with in… as a recommendation from that extent as well. But what’s also really interesting is that we, you and I, have been in this dynamic as well. Because my current business partner was at one point my interim CEO. So we personally have had that boss/friend/employee relationship play out in real time. So there’s… it happens all the time and what worries me is that… what I tend to see often, if it’s not… if people aren’t given the proper preparation or advice, is that oftentimes I’ll see people overcompensate. They will… because the idea of “well I need to be fair to everybody” is so prominent and they want to avoid favoritism, that they end up almost being harsher on their former co-workers and friends, than they would be on anybody else to avoid the perception of favoritism. Or like there’s all kinds of weird challenges and dynamics that can happen so I really, I’m looking forward to this discussion.


[COBY]: Yeah, I know in your right about the fact that we’ve been on all sides. Like you know, we do a lot of helping organizations in our current work navigate this, you know, with management training and supporting the internal session planning, so from outside, working with a business perspective. I’ve had good friends of mine become my bosses in previous jobs. You know, I’ve become the boss of friends and other jobs. And some of the interim executive work that I used to do, pre-Roman 3. Yeah, one of them was after you and I worked together for seven or eight years and became very close friends. I was asked to step into the company that you work for and as the interim CEO for a year. So yeah it definitely, you know, so we definitely, I think we have a very…


[JAMES]: Which was, I mean it was great. It was, you did a great job. But it was a weird dynamic for a little while, right? Like we had to, we had to adjust things, we had to have a frank conversation of “Okay how do we actually manage this boss relationship?”. Because I’ve said it before, I’m not the easiest employee, I’m really good at what I do but I’m not always the easiest person to manage…


[COBY]: And I can account for that. But the thing is that I think that when… I think that when any of these relationships happen, regardless of the organization or the authority levels or anything like that, just acknowledging the complexity of it is really important, getting that out front. But I do think your two answers at the very beginning about managing expectations and kind of defining the line between friends and friendly really is kind of probably where most of us should start. Because like when, you know, so like you know the example of when I stepped in and became your boss. It was you and I had to kind of say Okay this is the reality, but you and I care about each other on a personal level, so because of that we both want what’s best for each other. You know both professionally and personally, and so the way we have to do this is we have to play the long game. We can’t… we have to recognize that some things we can talk about, some things we can’t. Some things we can talked about as your friend. Some things we have to talk about as your boss. And it’s about both sides just acknowledging this is going to be messy and uncomfortable. And what was even more challenging for me for that position was because the way I was brought in and the nature of the organization, was very political. So I had a lot of eyes on me, so there, so… and one of the concerns when I stepped in was the fact that I had, you and I had this, you know, you were a senior level employee, and you and I had a relationship. So there was concern that, you know, about having me be the one that comes in to step in, because of that. So it was actually a barrier. So there’s a lot of pressure for us to do it right. But the fact that we acknowledge that this was going to be something that we had to figure out as we go, but as long as we were both on board with the… looking in the right, same direction, we both wanted the same things, then we just had to basically do our best to handle it. And a lot of it was about transparency, and on both sides. But recognizing where the lines were, and defining those. But that’s why the skill of managing expectations is so vital.


[JAMES]: It’s huge.


[COBY]: Because you have to be able to kind of get in front of everything, so everyone knows what to expect of you. And the other thing too what always, again, I stepped into a lot of interim positions over the years and what always gets me through is acknowledging that I’m going to do my best, but I’m going to make mistakes. Like not in a job interview part, but like you know, when I stepped in one of the first conversations that I’ve had with people in any interim role, with you, with other jobs, was to say I’m gonna do my best, here’s what I’m trying to accomplish, I’m gonna have some missteps, but this is what I’m trying to achieve, and what I hope we’re all gonna try and achieve together. And doing this with the different, you know, boards that hired me or you know or whatever. Being very clear up front and transparent with expectations so that way… you know, and not being afraid to be vulnerable, which was you know a big part of it too. Because one of the concerns I always see when it comes to a lot of people stepping into any leadership role, regardless if they’re managing former co-workers or not, is the ‘fake it to you make it’ problems as I see it. Because I mean as much as I value, kind of, some of the philosophies around the ‘fake it to make it” approach to leadership. I think it does more harm than good. Because it sets you up in a position where you’re afraid to be vulnerable. And you’re like, you know, and that you have to again portray a false confidence. And a false confidence is something that can actually end up undercutting a lot of the way that you lead people, in a lot of the way that you actually engage with others, like the reverse favoritism. Where you’re harder on your friends is to me a result of fake it to you make it, you know false confidence. Because those are things where you’re trying to, you’re worrying too much about yourself and your long-terms, or in your short-term success, that you’re not playing the long game, and trying to figure out what’s best for everybody. How everyone’s going to be successful. And not allowing yourself to be vulnerable. And it’s a tough thing to do, but in every situation that I’ve been in, that’s been my saving grace. When I stepped into lead, again whether it’s my former co-workers, whether it’s my friends, or whether it’s just people, total strangers.


[JAMES]: Yeah and I agree with you. I like the intent behind the statement “fake it till you make it”, to me means that you don’t have to wait until everything is absolutely perfect and aligned before you take on new responsibilities and new roles, right? Put yourself out there and try your best while you are developing the skills is kind of how I view that statement. But it gets, you’re right, it gets kind of morphed into ‘I need to put on a persona that is not me’. And the persona of a confident leader is somebody who is never wrong, who is decisive, who makes decisions, who can lead people, who… and if you don’t have those skills then you tend to default to things like micromanaging. Because micromanagement really stems from a lack of confidence, insecurity in your own ability. If you are secure in who you… in your abilities, and who you are; you should be able to trust your employees and help them develop the skills they need to be successful. If you are less confident, if you are faking it, trying to project a persona that’s not you, then you’re far more likely to fall into this key trap of micromanaging every little thing that happens. And this can be very common in the situation of leading former co-workers. Because you did the job, right? You’re now managing people that you used to work alongside. You used to do that job, so you may think that you can do the job better than them, you may have been promoted because of how confident and competent you were in doing the job. But management now in that new role of managing your former employees, your biggest task, your biggest responsibility is making sure that they have what they need to be successful in doing the job. You should not be in the weeds anymore.


[COBY]: And I think that, you know, especially it’s tough when a co-worker who you worked alongside with, that’s kind of someone that you enjoyed working with, got promoted. And often you’re like “great, this person could be great at the job”. But then if that confidence isn’t there, if they are faking it till they make it, sort of thing, or there’s that idea of not fully acknowledging the changing dynamic, it can actually… it can become awful. Because again, you can have those overt problems like favoritism and reverse favoritism, but it’s even… but what’s more is that power dynamic tends to change the amount of trust that exists. Because you no longer, you know, you no longer can trust this person because of the way, the complexity of all this is playing out. It can be, it can make for a very difficult workplace. And I mean, you know, I’ve had the personal experience where I had co-workers that I really respected get promoted, and become awful managers. And actually… and people left and I left the job, you know after a year of that. Because it was just like “wow this person really did not handle this transition well”. And it’s one of those things where it really is kind of this is a very complex problem. But it’s also not necessarily that hard to resolve. Because like I say if people acknowledge upfront with managing expectations, and they’ve really kind of make that line clear, and they’re transparent, and they try and maintain the trust that existed, and ideally build more, that’s going to be kind of the recipe for success. Because, you know, the other thing too is, and this is a bit of a potentially critical question, but I don’t mean in a critical way. Is why… so let’s say to the person listening, if you were promoted into a new job and your managing your former co-workers, an important thing for you to be aware of is why were you promoted? And what I mean by that is the most common reasons people get promoted, like you know globally…


[JAMES]: Well documented studies…


[COBY]: Exactly, so some of, the two most common reasons. We talked about this before another podcast, is because they either have tenure, they’ve been in the job for a long time, and it was a sense of like a seniority thing. Or it was because they showed great task proficiency in their current job, so the thinking was ‘well if they’re that good at this job, they must be great at helping other people do that job”.


[JAMES]: It’s a reward for good performance.


[COBY]: Right and those two reasons are pretty bad reasons to promote someone. Because the main reason to promote somebody, effectively for organizational success, is that that person showed natural aptitude to lead.


[JAMES]: Or you’ve invested in that person to develop the skills, right? e


[COBY]: Exactly. And were not saying that if you were… if you’re promoted because of seniority or because, as a reward for being very good at your job, that you’re going to be a bad leader. We’re not saying that by any means. What we’re saying is then, you now need to develop the skills that you need to lead effectively. Management training, the ability to kind of manage expectations all this kind of stuff, are things you’re gonna have to develop as new skills. Because without those, this is when you may fall into some of these traps that we talked about.


[JAMES]: I think the two most important things, building on that, so there’s the first part of what I said at the beginning, of being able to set and manage expectations, the friend friendly thing, all of that combined. I think is a really important first piece of advice. The other piece of advice, building on what you were talking about, and you know it’s now your responsibility to develop the skills if you don’t currently have them, or if they’re not in a natural aptitude for you. Is that developing a… we are big on frameworks and developing a framework for how you make decisions can be a huge boost to your confidence. And can be a, it can be a tremendous asset in how you develop your skills, in how you lead and manage people. And what I mean by that is, so for us we build these tools frequently, and we have one that we really like, that we subscribe to, that we call Integrity Leadership. That is a really, it’s a decision-making framework for how do you evaluate decisions, how do you make sure that you are leading with integrity. And there’s lots of different leadership and management programs out there. You need to find one that is going to work for you. Whether that, like there’s the concepts of Servant Leadership, there’s different leadership models, there’s different management models. I would personally beg and plead with you not to subscribe to an Authoritarian style. But there are different models out there that you can use. The key is to be consistent in your application of your decisions. In having a framework that you run these problems through to help you decide how you’re going to respond will be huge in consistency. Because if you are consistent then at least you are providing people with… they know what to expect, right? I’ve had lots of managers that I’ve worked with over the years. Personally, I would rather have a consistently bad manager than an inconsistent manager. Ideally you want a consistently good manager, that would be fantastic. But inconsistency never knowing how somebody is going to respond, you end up having to walk on eggshells all the time, and as a employee dealing with that situation it causes a ton of stress. Consistency is huge. Having some methodology for providing that consistency is probably the best advice that I can give you. Paired with know how to set and manage expectations.


[COBY]: Yeah no I think that’s terrific advice. Because the thing too is like when you don’t have, again, those clear expectations and you have someone that potentially is unconfident in their spot, or/and they’re inconsistent, you end up creating these really uneasy walking on eggshells, never know what to expect, anxiety creating work environments. And sometimes there’s a huge change in the climate of the workplace when you walk in, when you have these new power dynamics and especially if these problematic things, like you know, the lack of confidence and poor expectation management, it happens… it can create a lot of like passive aggressive actions amongst people. Because there is that sense of, like you know, almost like trying… you’re not really too sure what’s going on, so there’s this sense of, like you know, almost like reacting to this uneasy anxiety-inducing climate with a very passive aggressive attitude. Which which tends to kind of compound stuff. So one of the things, so we have a webinar were we talk about confident leadership. That’s one of our favorite ones we give. But like in that webinar we talk a lot about we call the 3 Deaths of the Modern Leader. And a lot of these really do come from that lack of confidence and I’m just going to give a quick summary of those just because they’re very important for people to be aware of. So the first one is, the first of the three deaths, is Self-Sabotage. So self-sabotage is the idea of your sacrificing your long-term success for your short-term comfort. So it’s really about prioritizing your comfort zones. You do what you know, because that’s what’s comfortable to you. And you’re really not willing to move beyond that. So we’ve seen this with kind of some clients that are concerned about the effectiveness of some of their managers. Because the manager is going to keep doing the same things over and over again. Instead of trying to expand their skills. A lot of times it’s because the managers aren’t fully, properly trained to do the new stuff. It’s almost like they’re supposed to just, you know, absorb this stuff kind of passively or download it from the cloud. I really don’t know how they’re supposed to have this new knowledge if they’re not trained. But there is that sense of the person,  you know, not willing to take the risk so everything is defaulting to their comfort zone. And that could be…


[JAMES]: This is especially true if there’s no psychological safety in the workplace, and people are scared to make mistakes.


[COBY]: Absolutely, yeah and so it really is something that is a very common thing, especially when people are, often when they’re promoted through… we do see this kind of a little bit more often when people are promoted through seniority. Is they stick to what they know and they think to what worked before, whether it still works now you know sort of thing. So that really is a common problem that kind of arises from that. So the second one, a second death of the modern leader, is Self-Preservation. And this is something where people are preoccupied with approval or making popular decisions. They’re about making sure that they are going to have this job again tomorrow. So it’s very much about about their main focus is on themselves and maintaining the appearance of competency through making sure that everything that they do is is either popular, or will have the glowing recommendation from everyone.


[JAMES]: It’s people pleasing, right? It’s just trying to, if you are always constantly trying to make everybody happy because you can’t stand anybody being mad at you, I’m sorry. But you probably are not right for a leadership position. Because a manager, a leader, you’re going to make decisions that are unpopular. If you’re not making decisions that are unpopular with somebody, at some point in your career, then you’re probably falling into this trap. Because the nature of leadership and management, you cannot please everybody all the time. You have to be comfortable with the fact that at certain points some people are going to like you more or less than others.


[COBY]: Yeah and the thing too is that, this is something that is very evident when people feel out of their depth or they feel unprepared for the position. That it’s more like, “I don’t want to make the hard decision so I’ll just do what is popular” And that’s a very dangerous approach to take when that’s your only, that’s the only tool in your toolbox. Then that can take you down a very dangerous road. So the third death, so the third of the three deaths, is micromanagement. And this is one that probably doesn’t require a lot of explanation. But this is people that get really into the weeds and they’re more confident in doing the work rather than empowering others to do the work. So it’s about making sure that they have the control that they need and that they have, that everything is being checked and rechecked. Because they’re wanting to make sure that they are doing what they’re comfortable with. And what they’re comfortable with is often tends to be the work itself, not leading and managing others to do the work.


[JAMES]: This is my personal biggest pet peeve. Micromanagement is… I just see it as an absolute death of a team. I’ve experienced it way more than I would care to admit. It is, I really believe that micromanagement does not come from a place of just wanting to control everything, necessarily. I believe that it comes from a place of not being confident in their abilities. I’ve seen wonderful people become terrible managers because they are not confident in their ability to lead others, to empower others, to trust others to do the job. Because they have the proficiency of doing it, they know how, they know what that job should be. So they get into the weeds, because that’s what they’re confident, that’s where their confidence stems from. And they haven’t built the confidence in themselves to be able to manage and lead others.


[COBY]: Right, and I think that in these three deaths: self-sabotage, self-preservation and micromanagement tend to be three of the biggest mistakes that come up when someone is leading former co-workers. Because with self-sabotage, it’s a comfort zone. Sometimes the dynamics don’t change and the default to kind of being the friend boss with some, and then you get into the favoritism problems. Sometimes it’s a matter of self-preservation, and people are trying to shed the bad reputation that they’re going to be the friend boss. So they overcompensate with the reverse favoritism and they’re really trying to to either appease those above them by overcompensating or they’re trying to just kind of say ‘majority rules’ whatever you guys want to do as long as you vote for it, I’m happy to do that as your boss. And micromanagement tends to be, “well I wasn’t actually prepared to do the job, so I’m just going to do the work”. Or “I’m more comfortable doing the work, so I’m just going to kind of lord over everybody to make sure that the work is done, because I’m more comfortable with that then I am in my new role,” And these are problems that tend to come from, like you say, it’s a lack of confidence. Because where lack of confidence tends to exist is when we’re in unfamiliar situations. So when we’re working the tasks, the duties of our job as a manager, there’s things that are familiar to us, as a new manager, there’s things that are familiar to us from our current job. So we were, you know, if we were the cashier at the grocery store, now we’re the cashier manager. Well we know a lot of the stuff that the cashier did, we’re familiar with that, so we’re confident in our ability to handle the stuff. We can rely on our experience with. But when it comes to the unfamiliar, that’s when we get concerned. Because we don’t know how to handle it. So we go back to either self-sabotage, playing our comfort zones. Focusing on being, what’s popular with self-preservation. Or just micromanaging the work. Because we don’t know how to handle the unfamiliar. And this is why James talked about you need a framework. Because what a framework does, a system can help guide you handle the unfamiliar. Because if you can have a playbook, or approach, or a framework that can allow you to navigate the unfamiliar; then that’s going to be where your confidence comes from. And that’s going to be the management skills that you’re going to need to handle  this complex dynamic of managing your former co-workers.


[JAMES]: And until you build the confidence in yourself to handle these things, the framework can be where you place your confidence. I don’t believe that people make a conscious effort or conscious decision to micromanage. I don’t believe they make a conscious decision to self-sabotage. I think it’s where we default to when we are not confident, when we are scared, when we are not sure how to react. We go to our default setting, right? And I believe, I do believe that even though these are really big problems, I don’t think people choose to be micromanagers. I think we default to it because we don’t have the skills, the confidence, or the framework that we can place our confidence in. And that, I think, is really, if we can help people do that, develop that piece, it will change how they engage with their teams and how they manage their teams.


[COBY]: Yeah, no you’re right. It’s almost like these three deaths; self-sabotage, self-preservation, and micromanagement are more like  instinctual, primal defaults. Like, you know, I don’t know what to do in this, so I’m gonna do one of… so I’ll do one of these three things, unfortunately. And it’s you’re right, it’s almost like a reaction to not being able to handle the unfamiliar. So you kind of mentioned early on, briefly, that we have a system that we use we call Integrity Leadership. I think it wouldn’t hurt to kind of, I think I’ll kind of go through that a little bit, just to share that idea. Because Integrity leadership is designed to be a framework designed to be a bit of a system to kind of help you navigate the unfamiliar, and kind of the rules that you can put some confidence in to handle it. So I’m going to give a quick summary, but if anyone’s interested in looking at this in more detail, we have content on our learning portal, Roman 3 Academy, under our Knowledge Suite. We have section on this and there’s some videos on our YouTube Channel that get into a little bit more.


[JAMES]: There is a full replay of one of our webinars where we talk about this concept, maybe we can put that link in the show notes or something.


[COBY]: That’s a good idea. Okay so what Integrity Leadership is, again I’m just going to give it briefly, it’s really kind of five main areas. So the first area is what we call Reliable Respect. And this is about providing fair, consistent and dependable level of respect to all people, regardless of your position or status. What Reliable Respect does is it allows others to always know that your thoughts, efforts, and actions are coming from a place of authenticity and empathy. So how you use this as a framework is to know that no matter who comes to you, how they come to you, the energy they’re bringing, your conscious choice is to always be reliably respectful. And even if they’re not being respectful to you, you can show respect back. So that way it plays a very consistent level of engagement with people that they know no matter what you say, it is going to come from authenticity and empathy, and that they can develop some comfort and some trust in you around that level of respect. Now the second one is probably one of the most important, which is Moral Courage. And this is about being brave enough to do the right thing, even when it’s not popular. It’s often appealing to… it’s often appealing to sacrifice doing what’s right, in favor of doing what’s easy. But this is why it’s important to have the courage to be unpopular, to make hard decisions, and to face challenges head on. So this idea is something that is kind of one of the hardest things to do as a leader, but it’s also one of the most important things to do as a leader. And this is a direct, almost like, shield against the self-preservation points. Because again, if a leader always defaults to the most popular, or the easiest answer, that tells a story of that leader to other people that they don’t want. That they’re a pushover, they’re are people pleaser, they’re more focused on themselves, than on doing the right thing. And it’s one of those things where the moral courage piece is the hardest thing to do. But it also tends to be the most impactful thing to do.


[JAMES]: And I just want to add in the short term, you’ll probably tick some people off because you are doing things that you believe are right, not the most popular choice. But again consistency, if you are consistently applying moral courage and doing what is right and not just what is easy. People will recognize that and even though at the beginning when you start doing that you’re probably going to encounter more resistance. If you are consistent in the application of it then people will begin to trust and build the confidence that you are actually making the best decision. Because that’s what you have proven time and time again.


[COBY]: And a big part of it too is also Moral Courage coupled with the managing expectations. If you’re getting out there while you’re making this decision and you’re identifying why it’s the right thing, despite the fact that it’s not popular, and you make that case as part of it. You’re not just making the decision, you’re actually putting the expectations… clearing that expectations behind it and getting in front of it. That tends to make it a bit easier for people to accept. And as James said, the consistency of it allows for people to know that’s what you’re going to do all the time. So they can, again, come to rely on that. So the next one is Honest Acknowledgment and this is about having the confidence to acknowledge the efforts, and contributions, as well as the perspectives, and opinions of other people. So being honest and properly recognizing others when they’ve assisted you and sharing the credit is something that really is required in order to lead with integrity. So a lot of Honest Acknowledgment is about the fact that you’re not taking credit for other people’s work, you’re acknowledging other thoughts and opinions, even if they’re counter to yours and you disagree with them, you’re acknowledging them for their merit and for their perspective. And you’re again, not dismissive of other people, other people’s ideas, but saying this is kind of the full story picture. But a big part of this too is making sure that your sharing and acknowledging the work, and credit, and perspectives of other people. Because part of that too is that is good leaders build people up and there’s a old expression, like you know, ‘good leaders the hog the blame, and share the credit. Okay and then the next one is Trustworthy Influence. This is about treating the responsibility and authority that you’ve been provided in your leadership and management role in a way that allows other people to trust you and for you to trust others. It’s about creating a sense of duty to the obligation that come with the position and the power that you’ve been provided. So others need to know that the influence that you’ve been provided will be respected and will not lead them astray. So a big part of this is kind of how you wield power, right? It’s when you’re in a management role, a leadership role, you’ve been given authority, you’ve been given power over people, you’ve been given influence. And it’s about the people knowing that you’re going to have some reverence for that sense of authority.


[JAMES]: Yeah, do you respect the trust that people have put in you? Because you now have authority over others, right? As a manager, as a leader, you are in a position of authority. How you treat that authority, whether you wield it like a hammer, or whether you use it to build other people up, how you wield authority says a lot about who you are as a human being.


[COBY]: Yeah and again I think the Trustworthy Influence tends to be probably one of the most fundamental elements required to effectively lead and manage your former co-workers.


[JAMES]: Absolutely I agree.


[COBY]: Yeah, because again the idea that you want to make sure that the co-workers that you have know that you’re going to have reverence for this new responsibility, and you’re not going to use it to crush them, or enrich them. That you’re going to actually show, again, that reverence for this new this new responsibility that you’ve been provided. And so the last one is Empowering Others. And this is about valuing those who you are responsible for and providing them what they need to be successful. Because a big part of leadership is about taking care of those that you are, that work under you, that are in your charge, that you are responsible for. And if your goal as a leader is to build up and make those… make other people successful, that is the sense of the kind of Integrity that you need to be able to have… if you really want to be able to be effective and actually create that sustainable long-term piece. Because employees, and those that you lead, need to be your priority. Because often when you have a… you’re in a management role, you have tasks of the job that you have to do, and you have the people management side of it. And we tend to often push people management part aside and we’re more focused on the managerial task piece. But really it should be that we should be really spending most of our time on the people management side. Because that’s going to be how we reduce, kind of, the managerial workload in a lot of cases. But we can be far more effective by having many people empowered to provide their best, then you know dragging people along through the managerial practices, while ignoring the people management side of it.


[JAMES]: Yeah, in my view the best indicator of your success as a manager is how successful your team is.


[COBY]: Yeah exactly. And it was one of those things where, their success is the indication of your success. And that’s a really important way to maybe consider what your new approach might be, while you step into this new role to effectively lead your former co-workers. And maybe that’s one of the expectations that could be a powerful place to start, when you’re having these early conversations. Where things are going to be different now, but if you go in to say ‘my job is to take care of you, so your job is to take care of the customers’, or whatever like that. But if you say “I’m successful when you’re successful” that can be one of those early defining moments in your new leadership or management role that can allow for you to be able to have that effective start to leading your former co-workers.


[JAMES]: Saying it and then backing it up, consistently. I’m gonna keep hammering that home. Because consistency is the key to your long-term success. Having a framework that you use consistently so that you can place your confidence in that, and then build your confidence in yourself. So that you don’t have to… so that you internalize these things and it becomes a a part of how you approach leading others.


[COBY]: All right, I think that’s kind of about it. I think I’ll do a bit of a wrap-up.


[JAMES]: Yeah I really, I love this topic and I really hope that something in this, if you are listening to this and you are a new manager and or you are new into leading somebody else, let us know whether anything that we’ve talked about makes a difference for you or is valuable. Because we want to make sure that this is… this is such an important topic and it’s important to understand how can you build that confidence and lead people effectively.


[COBY]: Yeah and leadership and management is something that we talk about a bit, but something that we have a lot more that we could talk about. So if it’s something that is of interest to someone listening, we’d be happy… let us know and maybe we could do more on this topic. So the question was, how do you effectively lead a manager former co-workers? Well the two initial things to consider at the very beginning are; to manage expectations with people up front and to know the difference between being friends and being friendly. A lot of the ways that this new power dynamic can happen when you’re leading whether it’s former co-workers, or even former friends, is to understand that the power dynamic has to change, but you have to change in a way that will allow for the trust that has been established to maintain. So when you’re leading former friends you want to make sure that you’re both clear that you both want what’s best for each other, long term. And that the choices that you’re going to make, and the dynamic that you have to create has to allow for that. You want to make sure that you’re putting in an environment where you treat everybody with with respect, and transparency, and consistency. Because you want to make sure that this is a place where you’re going to be able to build confidence in yourself to lead, and then others are going to become confident in your ability to lead. Because what you want to do is you want to avoid the Three Deaths of the Modern Leader. Which is self-sabotage, where you stick to your comfort zones. Self-preservation, where you’re preoccupied with approval and making popular decisions. And micromanagement, where you’re more comfortable doing the work than you are actually leading others to do the work. Because what happens is when we’re in a leadership role or management, we tend to be able to have confidence in familiar situations, because we can rely on our experiences. But what happens when we’re in an unfamiliar situations is we tend to develop a lack of confidence and in default to those three deaths, that I mentioned. Because we’re not prepared to handle the unfamiliar, so in order to become confident and prepare for the unfamiliar we need a framework or system to guide us through the decisions that we’re going to make, and how to act when we’re in these unfamiliar situations. A possible opportunity for people to build a bit of a framework is it going to be around what we call Integrity Leadership. Which is Reliable Respect, and providing fair, and consistent, dependable levels of respect to everybody. Moral Courage, being brave enough to do the right thing even when it’s not popular. Honest Acknowledgment, having the confidence and acknowledgment of the efforts and contributions of others. Trustworthy Influence, treating the responsibility and authority that you have been provided in a way that allows others to trust you and for you to trust others. And Empowering Others, valuing those who are responsible for and providing them what they need to be successful. All right so that about does it for us. So for a full archive of our podcasts and access to the video version hosted on our YouTube channel visit our website at Thanks for joining us.


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