You just started to understand your boss, adjusted to his limitations and learned to deal with his little quirks and… bummer!… he is being replaced. What do you do?
In any case, you want to give your new boss the warmest (disarming) welcome you possibly can. This may not be a new organization for them, but managing a new team makes them nervous. Take advantage of their temporary vulnerability and get close.
In reality this change can be a huge career opportunity, if you play your cards right. I suggest communicating your intentions immediately to ensure starting your relationship on the right foot. It’s important to deliver the message that you intend to support your boss and protect their interests. In reality it is not just a cliché: helping your boss be successful really does set you up for the best possible career progress. Aside from the obvious – that you can follow in their footsteps as they move up the corporate ladder – this approach will simply make you irreplaceable. Your boss will drag you along wherever they go by making you offers you can’t refuse. If you have your own team, they are likely to mirror your approach with your boss and begin to support you in the same way, which will also help your success.
Start earning the status of their “right hand” by putting your new boss at ease. Provide them with all the info they might need to get started in an organized manner. Follow their lead, go along with their decisions (it’s too soon to negotiate) and avoid any miscommunication while your relationship is new and fragile.
To achieve the “golden child” status you must totally understand your boss’s vision, embrace their philosophy and become an integral part of their plan. Here are the basic principles you must follow:
- NEVER repeat anything they share with you to ANYONE at the office
- Never reveal anything that others shared with you confidentially to your boss unless this information is absolutely vital to their success. Only then make a point to share it as a huge exception. Your boss will appreciate your loyalty but you spilling confidential info would always affect their ability to trust you. Be very selective with your sharing.
- Be honest about your mistakes: covering them up and shifting blame will sooner or later come out. This behavior only damages trust. Your boss will forgive and forget about your mistakes if they see they sense transparency and desire to improve.
- Give your boss deserved and undeserved credit in meetings, compliment them to others, NEVER criticize them in their presence or behind their back.
I believe this line of behavior will position you better with any boss; anyone from irritable schizophrenics to self-loathing dictators can be tamed! If you experience difficulties, Queen of Staffing is at your service.