If someone said your parking spot at work was changing, it may cause you some aggravation but it’s unlikely would it cause you any anxiety. It’s a change, but in the overall scheme of life, pretty small.
What about a change in who you report? Now that’s more significant. Unless you are the owner of a business, we all report to someone where we work. Even the CEO of the organization reports to a board of directors. How would you react if tomorrow you were told there will be a change in who you report to? How would it make you feel? Does it excite you or panic you? If we are honest, for most people, high anxiety and even panic sets in. It is a change that has a significant impact on your life.
Why? Job engagement is less about money and benefits (even though these are nice) and more about leadership, leadership, leadership. If you are a leader today and don’t understand this, then wake up or you won’t make it long as a leader. The person you report to creates the environment in which you work and has your career development in their hands.
A change in reporting relationships brings the unknown into the workplace; and most of us hate the unknown. Whether or not you loved who you previously reported to or not, you had figured out how to work with them: You had come to learn what they liked and didn’t like, and you knew where you stood with them. A new leader means having to “prove yourself” all over again to a new person. We hate that. Instead of thinking about the positives, like this could be better in so many ways, we tend to assume the worst.
Throughout my career, I’ve seen people who had what appeared to others as the perfect job. They had it “all” from resources to great pay, but they hated their job because of who they worked for. I’ve also seen employees who had a job no one else would want because of their wages and working conditions yet they loved their job because of who they worked for.
Your new leader is responsible for managing in a way that is best for the organization. It’s their job. Yet the best leaders know their success and the success of the organization comes from great people. They don’t focus on themselves, but on what’s best for those who work for them. They are servant leaders.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:4
With those things in mind, here are three tips that will help you through this process:
- Please be yourself; it’s who the new leader wants to get know.
- Don’t be defensive when you are asked questions. It usually shows in your body language. As a new leader my job is to understand how things work, so accept that there will be questions. The more defensive you are will make them wonder what else they are not hearing, and it makes them ask more questions, not less.
- Be open to doing things differently; don’t resist change. The new leader will have new ideas and over time will make changes.
Look at this change as a new opportunity, a chance to grow.