Some years ago I have been promoted to lead the company that I’ve been working for back than. It was an overnight decision, a challenge that I happily took over.
I started immediately with budgeting tasks. I had no coaching or mentoring and figured out what to do together with the team which was more than willing to support me and to whom I am still thankful. This was the beginning of my managing journey.
One of the first tasks I had to accomplish was related to decreasing some advantages of the administrative personnel, three persons. They all had company cars in Romania and the group policy didn’t agreed to that.
My predecessor had allowed that to happen and I had to solve the problem. How familiar does this sound?
I negotiated with the group management a good deal, in my opinion, for them which should have made them less unhappy for the cut. They were supposed to get the cars as a gift from the company or we could arrange free transportation from some central point of the city to the headquarters.
What do you think happened?
They were unhappy we both propositions and I was the negative character. I who have told to my predecessor at that moment that it is a bad decision to allow them all to benefit of the company cars. I who have fought with the group management to offer them the cars as a gift, which represented back then like 10 time their monthly income.
They choose to own the cars in the end. They also chose to cultivate a unfriendly attitude towards me an their sales colleagues who still had company cars as a benefit, for the obvious reasons.
With the management experience I had back than, I don’t think I could have handled the situation better.
Now I would maybe be more transparent with my team. I would tell them from the beginning that we face this situation and ask them what they would like as a compensation to the decrease of benefits.
Be open and honest
Trust your team that it will find a solution and take the right decision (common knowledge is larger than individual knowledge)
Act in a way that will offer you peace of mind, make sure that you did the best you could
Any decision is better than none, so make a decision, see what happens and take responsibility
Sometimes one has to clean others shit, that’s the reality, suck it up!
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