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Gary Winters

Leadership Coach

Can you imagine becoming the boss of someone who’s your friend or co-worker?

Managing friends or former peers can be awkward.

When you become the boss, everything about these relationships can suddenly be uncomfortable. There’s a new set of groundrules to establish – as manager, you are going be accountable for the work performance of friends or former co-workers on the team, and they are going to have to adjust to the fact that they now report to you. Everyone involved can feel awkward and hesitant about the future.

There could be people on your team who wanted the promotion given to you, feel you’re not qualified for the job, deeply miss your predecessor and resent having to “start over” with someone else, or expect special treatment based on the connection you had as friends or peers.

Becoming the team’s new leader is tough enough. Doing so when one or more members of the team are personal friends or former peers can be daunting.

That said, it can be done. Managing Friends & Former Peers will give you everything you need to know to move forward with confidence and grace.

Like all Just In Time books, the focus is on just one leadership skill – how to manage friends and former peers – a small but critical subset of broader leadership competencies – holding difficult conversations, coaching employees, and setting standards, just to name a few.

You can successfully manage people who’ve been your friend or co-worker. It won’t happen by chance, and it’s not a matter of pulling some management “trick” out of your hat. But you can learn how to do it, and you can apply what you’re about to learn right away.

The first in the Just In Time Leadership TIPS series, this one is quite popular, because it speaks to a very common problem for newly promoted managers – dealing with all the issues associated with becoming the boss of people who are your friends and former peers.

Does the friendship have to change? If so, how?

What if they wanted the job or didn’t think you were qualified (since they know you so well)?

How do you make the shift from being a pal, or a buddy, to being in charge?

It’s hard enough to take over a team without having to navigate the troubling waters of supervising friends and colleagues.  This book takes the mystery out of that, including a roadmap for critical conversations with friendcos (friends and former co-workers) which help ensure that everyone can move forward with clarity and confidence.

Sommer Kerlie, Executive Director for The Centre for Organizational Effectiveness, says “I read Managing Friends and Former Peers on a one-hour flight. The book is short, sweet, and jam-packed with tips and techniques to manage this potentially delicate dynamic.”


To get your copy of Managing Friends (just $4.99) click here.