Day One Leadership

Day One Leadership

Summary: Whether through promotion or hiring for your own company – you may now be leading your former peers! Now what?

It happens, sometimes it’s planned and other times not. You may know it was going to happen and sometimes you may not realize it.

It’s leading your peers. It could be due to a promotion you were working for or maybe it was unexpected. Maybe it is because you have your own business and you decided to hire people you have worked with these instances you probably didn’t think about what it would mean to be responsible or in charge of your peers.


The first day comes and you have become keenly aware that your colleagues are looking at you for direction. You have that big lump in your throat, the butterflies in your stomach are huge and your confidence is no where to be found.

It’s ok…take a deep breathe we will get through this together.

Before your first day as the “boss” you will need to prepare.

  • What is your vision for the department/company?
  • In the big picture, what would you like everyone to accomplish (think long-term).
  • If it is your company, create a training plan for them to learn “how we do it here”

On your first day meet with your team to discuss two things:

  1. The elephant in the room! Talk about how you realize it is a little awkward to be responsible for the team after sitting along side them. Let everyone express what they are thinking. When it is your business make sure the person understands it is a business relationship and you have expectations for their work. Sometimes people may take advantage with the attitude “the boss and I go way back”.
  2. Discuss your vision. At this point be general so people understand what you are moving towards. What ever you do – don’t go into how things were done wrong with the previous boss/company. You are building on what they already know. Start positive and humble and you will earn their respect.

Enjoy the ride. Understand just like a good roller coaster ride there will be ups and downs. It’s ok and its expected. Learn and adjust from the downs and enjoy the ups.

What was your first day like as a leader? What tips do you have for future leaders?