How to Manage a Team of Your Former Peers

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By Vicki Salemi

Picture it. Over time you've become close friends with your entire department: lunch outings, intramural softball games, baby showers and all. The good news? Your hard work has finally paid off and top brass has noticed! Congratulations, you've landed that big promotion in the corner office.

The not-so-good news? You've landed that coveted promotion in the corner office. Even if others in your group weren't going for it, they may inevitably feel resentment that you're rising through the ranks and they're not. After all, isn't their hard work noticeable and rewardable, too? And if they were vying for the same role you pursued, that's another issue. They didn't get it and you did, end of story. Resentment, anyone?

You may start sensing this from your former friends; perhaps pangs of guilt start to creep in. Not only that, but you're dealing with unexplored territory of having to manage your cronies. This is not an easy task – especially if you know them too well and you're aware that one is a slacker and scoots out of the office. Summer Fridays leaving at 2 p.m. have crept up to 10 a.m., and now that slacker friend is your own issue to manage.

Actually, this transition is normal and not at all unusual. With a tactful approach of setting new boundaries and altering your behavior, you can become a successful leader among your former peers, plus gain traction with your new ones.

There are a few ways to straddle the balance of becoming a terrific boss to your former peers without being their pal. Here are several tips to help make that seamless transition.