Article: Tips for a new boss: How not to be your team's worst nightmare

Learning & Development

Tips for a new boss: How not to be your team's worst nightmare

As a new boss, here's a few tips how not to be your new team's worst nightmare
Tips for a new boss: How not to be your team's worst nightmare

With a change in leadership position, over-hauling of processes is something that employees expect and adapt to


As a new boss, here’s a few tips how not to be your new team’s worst nightmare

In the eleven odd months that I spent in my first job, I got an opportunity to work with two different bosses, and thus two different systems. The first one existed when I joined the organisation, and the other that came into being after my new boss joined in. ‘Change’ is what makes the coming of a new boss an ‘event’ worth remembering. There is a lot of anxiety among team members about how things will shape up under the new boss. Will he be a hard-liner or a team person? Will there be any major changes in the team? Will he bring in his ‘own’ people? Whether this anxiety settles down or not depends on the way the new boss takes charge of the situation. With a change in leadership position, over-hauling of processes is something that employees expect and adapt to. However, what they find difficult to adapt to are behaviours.
If you are one of these bosses, for sure the team will find hard to adjust to (without making it evident of course):

1. The My-Way-Or-The-High-Way Boss
Traits: They want things to be done ‘their way’ from the day they grace their cushioned seats. Usually they like to make this clear as soon as they take charge. Some are articulate enough to put it softly while some like to send across a strong message to make people ‘fall in line’. They love to threaten their team members with disciplinary actions for the slightest of mistakes.

Why it doesn't work: Rohit Hasteer, Director- People Management and Human Resources, UTi Worldwide, says, “When there is a major change on the leadership front, team members get worried because they feel that they will need to start from scratch and re-build their position in the company. It would be wrong on a leader’s part to simply barge in and start expecting people to work as per his or her working style or adopt an authoritative approach.” People tend to withdraw themselves from bosses who exhibit ‘I-am-the-boss’ airs and feel disconnected to the team objective.

2. The Team-Changer Boss
These are the bosses who believe that everyone in their new team is unproductive and so needs to be replaced. They crib about the existing structures, love to complain about what’s wrong in the team (and processes set by their predecessor). The love for their former team members become evident when they start appointing them on key positions.

Why it doesn't work: Such steps portray the new team leader as an insecure person. Different teams perform and respond in a different way. By bringing in people from their past companies, leaders send out the wrong message. Such steps cause great damage to the existing team who lose trust on their leaders.

3. The You-Know-Nothing Boss
These are the nit-picking types. Giving gyan, sermons, on every topic is their favorite exercise. Not only do they like to show that they know more about everything and anything, their special emphasis is on proving how ignorant their junior employees are. They like to quash junior colleagues’ ideas and do not have confidence on their new team’s capabilities. Such bosses make situations worse with their arbitrary decisions.

Why it doesn't work: Hasteer believes that by doubting his new team, team leaders send across the wrong message. He says, “Many leaders tend to disregard the team dynamics and force their way into things. A new leader needs to adjust at times with the ways set within the team. They may not believe in those ways, but as long as this doesn't impact productivity they should try to adjust with it. It sends a positive message within the team.”

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Topics: Learning & Development, Life @ Work

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