Your boss is leaving.

When your boss leaves, whether willingly or not, you need to be ready. If you are qualified for the position, find out how to apply. Have your brag statements available and share them appropriately. ( If you’re not qualified, see this as a great opportunity to network with your former boss (or boss’s boss) to determine what you need to do to be ready for the next opportunity—don’t wait until after your boss has left; he or she will be less likely to want to maintain ties at that point. Be prepared to seek other jobs within the company or new opportunities with new employers, since new bosses tend to bring in their own people. Although new bosses should always assess current talent before replacing them, shake-ups happen too often, which makes it imperative for you to be ready to move on. In the meantime, be willing to take on other job responsibilities to broaden your depth and breadth of experience and knowledge. Build a great working relationship with the new boss. It may save your job, or provide valuable references or contacts for the next one!

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Should you become a boss?

Many business professionals today aspire to become a boss. Many want this type of recognition for the increase in pay, status, or a better office. Unfortunately, these objectives will not make anyone a great leader. In fact, many bosses are fired within their first six months in their new job, and many others fail because their employees resent their lack of management finesse. Poor leadership abilities make it difficult for new bosses to get the job done.

Being the boss requires you have very good people and project management skills. Many business professionals don’t want to work that hard! Or, they’re fearful they may lose friends who were formerly co-workers. Alternatively, your new employees may veto your style when comparing you to their last boss. In those cases, it may be better for you to be a leader without the boss title.

Should you become a boss? It requires a new level of responsibilities, skills, and attitudes. If you are willing to make unpopular decisions, develop a commitment to all of your employees without bias, learn how to create and manage budgets, and facilitate projects in a global market with rigor while paying attention to details and motivating your team, then, yes, you should. (Remember, this list is not exhaustive!) Being a boss can have many rewards and is often required on your way up the ladder to the C-Suite.

Here are some prerequisites:

First, become clear if being a boss is the right career path for you. Career derailment can be hard to overcome in an interview, either for a different management job or as an independent contributor, after having been deemed a poor manager.

Second, hire a coach who has strengths in the specific areas where you need help. Take a qualified assessment to help you better understand your inherent strengths and weaknesses as a potential boss. A qualified 360-degree feedback tool can also enlighten the process of improving your skills.

Third, be willing to do the work in a manner that bodes well for your current employer, as well as your future opportunities. Remember, successful bosses put the success of the company and its employees first!

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013