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Peer to Manager: How to Make a Successful Transition

LaSalle Network Vice President of Recruiting, Devan Hines, started here career at LaSalle as an entry-level recruiter nearly nine years ago. As she's grown her career, she's transitioned from peer to manager and shares first-hand advice on how to do it successfully: 

Call it out:

Addressing the change is the first step. Have coffee or lunch with the group of peers you’ll now be leading to start a dialogue about the future. It’s a chance for you to be open to hearing their thoughts, but also set an expectation of how you’ll communicate with your team moving forward.  

Ask for help:

Since you’re new to this role, it’s a good idea to admit you aren’t perfect and will make mistakes. Tell your team you need them and that you want their advice. Engage your team members by asking them about their concerns, and if it’s feasible, make changes based on what they share. Figure out new goals together and instill a sense of ownership over the process. Doing so shifts the focus to the team, instead of on you, the new boss.  

Don't change overnight: 

Immediately changing your demeanor or the way you communicate won’t be received well. Who you were and how you communicated as a peer is what got you the promotion in the first place. There will be times where you need to call the shots, but first you’ll need to learn how to motivate each member of your team - and get them on board - when setting out to accomplish new goals. If you want their buy-in, stay true to who you are and have been! 

Admit when you mess up:

Being a leader isn’t about being perfect. Managers who own their mistakes and fight hard to learn from them will earn respect from their teams. Most situations aren’t about the incidents themselves. They're about how the situation is handled afterward. When a leader learns from their mistakes, so will their team.  

Don't make it about you anymore:

After making the move from peer to manager, change the focus to your team. While it’s important to be relatable and share what you did or said in the past, only do so if they ask. Pump them up, get to know them, understand what they need, be there for them and hold them accountable. 

Lead by example: 

Practice what you preach. It’s the most important part of being a leader. Work hard. Show your team that you are capable of leading them to success, and that you are committed to helping them achieve their goals. If your team sees you do the things you’re asking of them, they will be more likely to jump in. 

Smile and stay positive: 

Driving revenue is a huge part of a manager’s job, but so is teaching your team important social skills. If you overreact, get angry or have a negative mindset, so will they. However, if you stay calm, take a moment to think and avoid negativity, your team will, too. It’s not about being happy all the time. You can share your worries, fears and concerns with your team. But in doing so, focus on solutions and show them it’s OK to ask for help to overcome obstacles.  


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