Leaders, Moving From Peer to Boss: Feelings vs. Results

Often new leaders, especially those moving from being a peer to being the boss, struggle with feelings vs. results. Some new leaders struggle with feelings vs. results more than others depending on personality type. Nonetheless, a clear focus on the mission, goals, and results is essential — for the leader’s success and especially the peers’ job security.

In fact, a leader’s excessive focus on feelings can cost the peers’ their jobs.

As a coach and consultant, I have seen teams fall short of the required results because leaders put feelings above results.

From Peer to Boss Image by:FamilyMwr

In two recent cases, the functions of the teams were outsourced because they didn’t show results. How unfortunate that the leaders confused a focus on results with heartlessness. There was no need to choose between results and feelings. Effective leaders breed great results from inspiring team members to care about the results while respecting them as people.

Moving from Peer to Boss

  1. From day one as leader, a)Speak clearly about the mission/goals and your passion for the success of the team and b)Listen to their ideas and concerns on reaching those goals.
  2. Highlight your former peers’ untapped talents and discuss their development as you all work toward results.
  3. Handle jealousy straight away. If former peers are envious of your promotion, let them know that you welcome all positive contributions.  This is not cold. It is truthful.  It helps your former peers move past the envy and on to developing their strengths and talents.  It protects the entire team from a disastrous side trip to the world of fake choices — like the one between feelings vs. results.
  4. “You used to complain about things when you were one of us. Now you have changed.”   This plea from former peers is not about you. It is about resisting change. Do not take this to heart or feel guilty.  The answer is quite simply, “Yes, of course. I see a bigger picture now that I am doing this job.  I still care about the issues and welcome your solutions.”
  5. Spend time thinking about the type of team you want to lead. Inspired? High Achieving? Respected? If these adjectives do not describe it, what words do? Do your words also describe a team that will reach the needed results? They must gel in order to succeed.
  6. Read and learn about inspiring different personality types. Even if your new job description outlines mostly tasks and tangible results, your ability to do those things depends on people-skills and communication.

Honor your promotion and your new position with courage, insight, and knowledge. Honor the mission and business with your clear focus. Honor your team by treating them as adults who will live up to the obligations and responsibilities of the job.

I am here to help you as The People-Skills Coach. Your first consultation with me is complimentary as my gift and congratulations for your promotion. I also continue to learn. What suggestions would you add to the list above?

Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach, is well known for her ability to inspire teams to great commitment and success. Whether she is delivering a keynote, a workshop, or a one-on-one session, Kate taps your ability to succeed through incisive questions, humor, truths, and practicality. For more information, email Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach.

5 Responses to “Leaders, Moving From Peer to Boss: Feelings vs. Results”

  1. Hi Kate,

    I think this is a phenomenal post. It’s an issue that people are probably having to deal with much more now that there are fewer positions open in a company. Managerial positions are not being filled by new people. Existing employees are being moved up.

    Very excellent information and guidance here.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Glad you found it valuable Marjorie. It is true that many people face this situation and it is so important to start correctly on the first day.
      Many thanks for visiting this Smart SenseAbilities blog. I hope you will feel comfortable commenting on any post of interest.
      Best wishes,

  2. vamsi pala says:


    This should be the most tricky situation in the office. If I were in such a situation I would sit with my boss in the meetings and ask him to order me a couple of times. Then I will make sure that I spend most of the time with my boss and create a tensed environment.

    So in this case I am using my boss for the first two days, to set expectations to my peers and then focus on results.


  3. Joel McCarty says:

    I am in the process of going from peer to boss. The information you shared in this piece is very valuable to me as I mov e forward. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      You are very welcome Joel. I hope you will consider me a resource along your new leadership path.

      Thanks for the contribution to this post.
      Best wishes,

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