Friend to Boss: Transitioning from Peer to Manager

You’ve been promoted. Or, maybe, you’re starting a new job at a new company. Either way, you have a fresh start– and a new set of challenges. Becoming the boss, it sounds exciting, it sounds challenging, it sounds frightening, and it comes with a variety of new responsibilities. You are moving from being responsible for just your own role and taking on the responsibility for the roles of the team as well. The new position will provide you the opportunity to influence more people, have more power, and to make more mistakes, unless you plan on how to move forward.

One approach that many new managers use as they move into the new position, is that they choose to make all the changes that they ever wanted, perhaps move members of the team or their duties around and take a firm rein letting everyone know a new leader is in town – causing multiple negative effects.

The opposite approach is the approach of the new boss who tries to remain everyone’s friend. The new boss who is more worried about friendships and not the results needed by the division can cause as many negative effects as the first approach.

All too often, new bosses are left to sink or swim on their own, with no guidance – on-the-job training is not the best teacher, here. Most experts agree that the first 100 days of a new leader’s job is vital to setting the stage for future successes. This is not the time to jump in and make wholesale changes. That time comes after you have a better understanding of the team, management, the organization, and the expected results.

So, how do you manage the challenging learning curve of becoming a boss, and the diplomatic balance of leading former peers? There’s no 100% guarantee, immediate or easy solution, and you won’t be flawless. However, by understanding the challenges and by keeping an open mind, you can develop new ways to relate to your team that are effective and produce results.

Savvy individuals will take the time to learn more about management techniques before or during the time they are assuming a leadership role. Ask for formal training, if available. Look for someone to coach you. Be proactive in your own development and look for opportunities to improve your leadership and management skills. By taking the time to learn and prepare, you will set the foundation for your new leadership position and guarantee yourself the ability to start your job as a new manager with an abundance of knowledge about how to be a good leader.

And remember, your organization confirmed their confidence in your abilities by promoting you. Believe in their show of support and establish your credibility by implementing what you learn.


So, are you going to be proactive? Let us help you! The “Making The Move To Manager” program is designed to provide you the techniques to put you on the path to success in your new role:

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About the Expert

Cheryl Grazier is the Principal of Cheryl Grazier Consulting LLC and has over 20 years of business experience in both the public and private sector as a trusted advisor in the areas of culture change, strategy implementation, program management, team and leadership development. Cheryl has worked in a variety of industries, including communications, government agencies, governmental contracting, and real estate.

She is particularly passionate about developing people skills and leadership capabilities for individuals.

  • Cheryl holds a Master of Science in Instructional Design from Walden University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia.
  • She also holds several industry certifications including MBTI, DiSC, and FIRO-B.