5

I'm a new leader to a company and for the company a new department. I'm trying to establish myself as a leader of the department. Before me there was another person in another department managing the day to day and putting out fires in my department.
My boss who we both report to wants her to move away from the tasks I'm now responsible for, but she keeps setting up meetings to put out fires and making decisions before I get a chance to respond. The rest of the departments look to her for answers on certain things I feel I should be responsible for.
How should I handle this situation?
I appreciate her input because I'm new to the company and need her help in putting out fires since I don't know the protocol that well but at the the same time I want to phase out her responsibilities.

1
  • 5
    A lot depends on how cooperative she is to letting go. Perhaps you should have a chat and see if you can get her to be "slower" in responding and also to refer these situations to you rather than doing it herself.
    – jwh20
    Dec 7, 2022 at 20:49

4 Answers 4

7

Talk to her

It's not a power play for you, it's your role. The discussion seems simple enough to ask her to step back a bit.

7

I'm a new leader

Than start leading. There is a problem to be solved and your job is to analyze the situation, come up with possible solutions, weigh their pros and cons, select the best option and start executing. Track progress and adjust as necessary.

In this case you have multiple options on how to proceed. I think the most normal thing to do here is to sit down with the previous leader and create a transition plan. Start with the current state, agree on a future state that both are you happy with, figure out a timeline and specific steps to get there, communicate this to the team and start doing it.

ONLY involve your boss if none of the approaches you have tried worked out and/or their are some organizational barriers that you can't work around yourself.

3

Maybe, in the beginning, she was simply helping you because you were new. Now, you are fully up to the speed, but she still mistakenly thought you needed her help.

So, you can talk to her directly in a professional, polite, and friendly manner. Tell her that you now feel very comfortable with the job, thank her for her initial help, and you want to handle more work load, and take more initiatives in running your team and your department.

(In addition, it may help to politely remind her that the boss wants you to take over this department so that she can focus more on other very important and super critical tasks that she is doing.)

1

You said:

The rest of the departments look to her for answers on certain things I feel I should be responsible for

This implies that either you are unsure about your responsibilities or your responsibilities have not been clearly defined ( or both ).

There should be no fight for leadership. Either you are the sole leader of your department as established by your boss or you are not.

You need to speak with your boss and get a clear understanding of what your exact position and responsibilities are. Once that has been established and is clear, ask your boss how to handle situations where someone else sets up meetings for and/or makes decisions about tasks that are solely your responsibility. After that, you follow the guidance of your boss.

I appreciate her input because I'm new to the company and need her help in putting out fires since I don't know the protocol that well but at the the same time I want to phase out her responsibilities.

Since you are not this person's boss, it would be your boss' job to phase out their responsibilities, not you.

2
  • No, before you speak to the boss, speak to her one-on-one first. Only speak to the boss if she really doesn't want to engage with you and you can not move forward with her. Dec 7, 2022 at 21:26
  • Don't elevate to your boss until you have tried to soave the problem yourself which OP hasn't done yet. OP wants to be a leader, so time to lead and learn how to solve problems yourself.
    – Hilmar
    Dec 8, 2022 at 8:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .