New boss a game changer
By The Tribune-Review
Published: Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 7:34 p.m.
Just when you think you've figured out how to stay in the boss's good graces and do the work that gets you ahead, the whole thing gets thrown out the window: You're getting a new boss.
A new boss changes things.
The project you worked on so hard last year? The new boss doesn't know about it and doesn't really care to know. The times you stayed late and came in early? Again, the new boss doesn't know and doesn't care.
Does that mean everything you've worked for has been for nothing? The answer is yes and no.
Yes, your hard work will pay off because it's given you important experience or helped improve your skills. But because the new boss wasn't around to witness it or benefit from it, you probably won't gain any points with a new manager.
George Bradt, an expert in helping executives learn the ropes at a new company, says that whether you get a new boss or your boss gets a new boss, it's a “major change with an enduring impact,” and you've got to “hit the reset button.”
“A new boss doesn't care what you did before,” he says. “What is valuable is the relationships and the skills you have to contribute going forward.”
Does that mean you hit the new boss with a litany of your accomplishments the minute she crosses the threshold of her new office?
“That's not the way you want to do it. When given the chance, you want to talk about what you've learned in the last year,” Bradt says. “That's a way to make what you've done still seem valuable to her.”
While you may have mixed emotions, it's important not to express any regrets, anger or skepticism, he says.
“You really need to treat the new boss decently,” he says. “Your job is to make this person feel welcomed, valued and valuable.”
So how do you get off on the right foot and start to rebuild your reputation?
Bradt, author of such books as, “The New Leader's 100-day Action Plan,” suggests some ways to transition to a new boss:
• Determine her work style.
Does she favor phone calls over email or texts?
Does she want you to check in with her once a week or once a month? What decisions need her input?
These are all key questions to ask a new boss, then follow that format even if your old boss did just the opposite.
• Learn how to disagree.
Does the boss want you to offer your feedback in private? Is it OK in front of trusted team members?
“Ask the boss what she wants. But don't believe her,” Bradt says. “Most people overestimate their appetite for disagreement. It's best to watch what happens to others who disagree with her and follow what seems to work best.”
• Become a stalker.
Don't go through her trash, but use whatever resources you can to check her out without crossing a line.
Google her, look her up on LinkedIn, check out industry publications that mention her.
“Just remember that you don't want to stray into personal or unrelated territory,” he says.
“Everything really comes back to attitude,” Bradt says. “If you don't want to help a new leader do well, then you won't do well. And you're going to fail before she does.”
Anita Bruzzese is author of “45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy ... and How to Avoid Them.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- JPMorgan whistle-blower gets $64M for mortgage fraud tips
- Employers nationwide added 175K jobs despite harsh weather
- Disney to lay off 700 from interactive unit
- Google barge departs San Francisco to new home
- Natural gas industry buoyed by advancing technology
- ADT settles deception charges
- Stock, housing gains boost net worth
- Beef costs reach record amid persisting drought
- Silicon ‘Valley of haves, have-nots’
- Obamacare enrollment has ‘lot of ground to cover’
- Vital signs reveal job market’s reality