Buddy to Boss

Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.
— Seth Godin

Does your organization struggle to promote new leaders effectively into their new role?  Recently I was leading a training of a new group of leaders moving from “buddy to boss.”  We talked about the need to shift from exclusively ‘doing’ to achieving results through directing, delegating, motivating and empowering others.  This is often where new leaders fall down in their effectiveness.  Here are some areas that are critical to address for successful leadership and strong career advancement:

  • Increase self-awareness and awareness of others.  This is foundation for emotional intelligence.

  • Develop the ability to engage, coach and develop others.  If done well, it eliminates the need for a formal performance evaluation--the most hated of all HR processes.

  • Learn how to create a spark in their creativity and innovation.  There is a myth that some people are not creative.  They key here is to create an environment where learning can flourish.   

  • Engage in difficult conversations; the ability to provide feedback and hold others accountable for results.  This skill is quite challenging for some.  Have a method or formula to do this is essential for developing this competency.

  • Manage through change and maintain resiliency.    If your business is not changing, then it is not growing and will become stagnate and obsolete. 


Despite how critical this role is to the overall effectiveness of teams and organizations, over 80% of those who try to transition to their first leadership role fail to make the shift successfully.  Often new leaders receive training a long time after their promotion leading them and their teams to stumble.  The best employers set their high potentials up for success, by training them well in advance of their promotion, so they can hit the ground running without missing a beat.  Strong leaders can drive your business forward when they are highly engaged, proactive and armed with tools to lead.