Be clear, aware, fair, prepared, and you can tackle the transition from BFF to Boss

Bill Gentry, the senior research scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership, tackles the transition from friend to boss in a recent Harvard Business Review article. Gentry strongly believes in the positive impacts of having friends at work. He quotes Psychologist Abraham Maslow: “A sense of belonging is one of the most basic human needs, right after food, water and safety.” For first-line leaders, however, friendship with coworkers can make the leadership transition particularly difficult.

A survey conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership found that 60% of respondents felt that the biggest transition first time managers face is “adjustment to people management / displaying authority” – a process made infinitely harder by a history of equal footing and friendship. Gentry offers tips on how to make this transition flow more smoothly, suggesting that these new managers should be clear, fair, aware, and prepared in order to successfully overcome this transitional hurdle.

At Emerge Leadership Group, we understand the challenges of the transition period and specialize in tactics to conquer those obstacles. Like Gentry, we believe that it is important to keep friendships alive after the transition. However, identifying that the relationship will need to modify in some way is crucial. In Emerge Group’s The Leadership Transition workshop, we help prepare first line leaders to redefine their relationships with coworkers in order to create an optimized team environment. New leaders leave understanding their new contribution and role expectations and ready to tackle the obstacles of the transition process.

To read the full article by Bill Gentry, click here: