Managing Former Peers (A Cheat Sheet for Busy Managers)

Managing former peers is probably your most immediate challenge if you’ve just been promoted. Below we suggest five key steps to managing peers.”Congratulations… you’ve got that promotion you wanted so badly. Now go fire your best friend.”5 Steps to Managing Former Peers
Decide if you actually want the job of managing peers
Reach out to all stakeholders
Establish one on ones with your new direct reports
Strike the balance between over and under managing peers
Be a professional
Decide if You Actually Want the Job of Managing Former PeersJust because you are offered a promotion, doesn’t mean you necessarily have to take it. You need to think through whether you want the added burden of managing peers. Some things to keep in mind:
Your peer relationships will change whether you want them to or not. Don’t be naïve enough to think they won’t.
You can’t control others’ attitudes and/ behavior. Even if you are ready to make the new relationship work, that doesn’t mean others will be as willing.
If your personal relationships at work are really important to you, you may want to decline your new role of managing peers.
Reach Out to StakeholdersFor anyone in a new position of leadership, it is crucial to reach out to important stakeholders. It is especially important when managing former peers. You should speak with your new direct reports, your boss, and other people you interface with often. Here are some thoughts as to what to ask them:
What would you focus on if you were me?
What can be done better?
What would you suggest is the top priority?
Be systematic and thorough – even when it becomes onerous and time consumingEstablish One on One Meetings With New Direct ReportsWhen managing peers, it is important to establish structured and regular one on one meetings with these people. Well-executed one on one meetings will ultimately save you time, and make managing peers easier. These meetings provide an opportunity to:
Set expectations
Reinforce and reward desired behaviors and performance
Communicate and clarify roles and goals
Update status on action plans.
Best of all, regular one on one meetings significantly reduce the number of “drive-bys” or drop-in meetings when managing peers.Strike the Balance When Managing Former PeersDo not come on too strong and micromanage your new situation. BUT… you are no longer “one of the girls”, either. If you experience any significant challenge to your authority, you need to deal with it directly and quickly. Also make sure you delegate appropriate when managing peers. If you hoard all the work yourself, you will ultimately fail.Be ProfessionalProfessionalism is paramount when managing peers. In order to do so effectively, you need to detach yourself from your personality, and rather view yourself as the new manager of the group or department. Here are some guidelines for maintaining professionalism when managing peers.
Stay focused on facts
Maintain confidences
Tow the company line. You are management’s representative in your work group. You undermine your own credibility, and are not doing your job if you don’t properly represent management views.
You need to refrain from company gossip and going out for cocktails with you direct reports should be done with extreme caution.
Don’t play favorites
3 Things to Remember About Managing Former Peers:
Figure out if you really do want the opportunity. Most often you do have the opportunity to say “no”.
Your friendships will change. It won’t be the same once you are the boss.
Communicate several times. Everyone in a new leadership role should look to over-communicate by a factor of ten.

Business Planning – Do You Make These 5 Marketing Mistakes?

What is the one thing every business wants more of? Money! Are you struggling with how to take your business to the next level? Do you feel like you’re stuck in a stagnant place and are unsure of what actions to take to grow? You are not alone! As a business owner, you are busy constantly. There is not enough time in the day for everything. Making mistakes with your marketing efforts can only magnify some of your struggles. Read this to figure out if you are you making these 5 costly marketing mistakes.Mistake #1: Winging itEver hear the expression: Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance? This ties right into your marketing strategy. If you want results, you have to put in the proper planning and formulate a strategy, then execute accordingly. This is why it is called a marketing strategy. It takes time, effort, and research to develop the necessary marketing plan. This is crucial to the success of your marketing efforts. Too many businesses “wing it” whether it be for lack of knowing how else to attack it or pure laziness. You worked too hard to get your business up and running. Put some effort and time into developing a formalized Marketing Plan. Figure out who your target customer is and the best way to market directly to that target audience. You may already be wasting effort and money on marketing to the wrong audience! Do your homework. We promise… you will save time AND headaches in the long run.Mistake #2: Giving Up Too EasilyWhat would we do without instant gratification today? Searching for answers literally takes seconds on our computers or cell phones. We have access to more knowledge at our fingertips than we could have imagined 10 years ago. Technology has embedded this need for instant gratification in our minds. It has created a society of people that give up way too easily. Like most success in life and business, marketing takes time and persistence. In fact most prospects need to be exposed to your company, its services, the benefits received or problems solved, 7-13 times BEFORE they will decide to purchase. Don’t think that one attempt at reaching out to a prospect will magically make them open their wallet. Don’t think that even 3 times of reaching out will do so. It make take 3, 6, or 9 exposures to get your prospects comfortable with you and your company. Marketing is a marathon and you have to be in it for the long haul.Mistake #3: Not Adapting to Current TimesRemember when newspaper or radio ads were the most effective way for a company to advertise? Well along came the 21st century full of technology. Embrace it. If you don’t have an attractive, user-friendly website, you’re making a mistake that could turn new customers away and inhibit your growth. If consumers find it difficult to navigate or looking outdated, they may leave with a negative impression of your company and never return. Don’t allow this to happen.Are you refusing to get your company on social media or advertise using video? This is also costly. The internet, social media, and video marketing are here to stay. If you want to have your business thrive for many years and generations to come, it’s best to get on board… now!Mistake #4: Lack of ConsistencyIn order for marketing to be effective it has to be creative and consistent. Think “Out of sight, out of mind.” This is true with any prospect. You don’t know what situational changes are going to occur in their life that may cause it to be… The Right Time. You don’t want to miss the opportunity when it arises. If you haven’t been planting those seeds and nurturing them all along, you won’t be there when they are ready to harvest. The goal of marketing is to be the company in the forefront of the consumer’s mind when they raise their hand and need help. Many businesses make the mistake of sporadic marketing or marketing only when business is slow. Marketing needs to be continual to smooth out the seasonality of business cycles. Don’t let your business fall into this trap!Mistake #5: Backing Off When Goals are AchievedFinally, the 5th marketing mistake you may be making is backing off when goals are achieved. This mistake may be the worst one. It’s too easy to breathe a sigh of relief and relish in the success you have achieved. Successful businesses get comfortable when things are running efficiently. However, the issue comes with being too comfortable. As stated earlier, marketing efforts can take 3, or even 6 months to start showing results. This lag time is why discontinuing your marketing efforts, then desperately trying to ramp them back up can be extremely dangerous. It is much wiser to consistently maintain your marketing efforts, then amplify and enhance them as needed. After all, customers may come and go for a variety of reasons. Focus on keeping lifelong customers, and a marketing plan that will help generate new ones during good times and bad.Marketing is not always fun to do or think about when there is so much else going on. At the end of the day though, marketing is important to the success of your business. Treat it as such and avoid these 5 marketing mistakes. Taking the time to plan and actually prepare with the necessary research will make it so much easier to perform the steps outlined. Don’t forget, persistence is needed for successful execution of your marketing plan. You believe in your business. Make sure your marketing efforts reflect that!

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