I have about 4 years of experience, all that time I have been working in the same company. I am a researcher, and over the years I have managed to establish credibility in front of my superiors.
About two months ago I wanted to explore other areas of research, so I was promoted to lead the current team while doing hands on work in another team.
Then about a month ago my new team's lead decided to step down so that he can focus on his ongoing studies and also because he was facing issues in satisfying the clients. I was the second most senior(senior in overall experience while being the newest member in that team), because of my seniority and credibility as a researcher I was made team lead of this team. But here I am facing insubordination from one of this team's members.
I have a subordinate who is two years junior than me, but from day 1 he has been dealing with me as if he is my senior.
What he does is
- He can be really insolent and arrogant, not just with me but others as well, except for the managers and clients. People who are senior
than him know better than him, but he has that attitude as if he
knows it all and what he is saying is the best most accurate thing.
While, in actuality he is wrong so many times. The way he talks is
like he is provoking/challenging the other person. A senior asks him
a question or corrects him, he instead of answering or listening to
them, starts their inquisition.
- He gives me lecture about how to lead a team, while he has only two years of experience. I would not mind if he was brainstorming, giving his opinions, but no he is lecturing me about how to do something, and how to deal with managers with whom I have been dealing with for years and who value me opinions and skill-set. Plus he is not fully aware of the office culture, he tells me(not advice or opinion) about how to run things here. He keeps on pointing out political angles while there is no real politics in this office. This office consists of highly professional and skilled people, your work speaks for itself here you do not have to play politics to get what you want....
- He starts planning activities without my input, assigning tasks to people he has no authority over. This happened in a major activity we are doing he took the lead, and since he had I let him, I thought it was good he is showing enthusiasm, but he messed things up and after that he had me sit in front of him and lectured me about how I am the one who is responsible for this mess and how I should fix it now. He wants to call the shots but does not want to be responsible for. And while they were all making the mess I tried several times to wave in and handle things but since other sub-ordinates have had the impression that he is the person handling it so they including the x-lead did not bother with what I was saying. It all happened because two people were trying to manage and the team listened to the familiar person. Well after the mess I took total control of the activity and realized I can not let him call the shots or lecture me.
The situation of this team is that they have their x-lead there who is two years senior than me, and my over confident trouble guy whom they know since before me. Between those two and me the actual teamlead, the rest of the team does not know which person to follow. Whenever x-lead decides to do something differently, I let him since he is a senior it does not feel right to manage him. But the other guy...I can only have one person who is not acting according to my plans, I can not have two such people. If there are two then it is a total mess. I need to rein in this junior guy. If he was a capable, responsible and credible person I would not mind handing the team to him and focus on my own research but he is so not that. And now this is my credibility on the line in front of the clients and the managers. I can not have him sabotaging it.
I do not want to have him fired, transfer to an other team is also not an option. I also do not want him to get discouraged or something and sign a resignation. I want things to workout somehow. I want to have a talk with him.
His actual job in team is that there is a sub-project which he completely deals with, x-lead or I have nothing to do with that. I want to tell him to have full liberty in that sub-project, run it however he wants to but leave all other things to me.
Now how do I proceed with having discussion with him? I am thinking following options:
1) Talk to him one on one. Ask him if he is fully aware of what he is doing, what is motivating him to do that, what is he hoping to achieve, what is it that he wants
2) First talk to x-lead, he has known that guy for years. See if I am misreading the situation somehow, and ask his advice on how to deal with him
3) Talk to him in presence of the x-lead. Because he and I have not known each others for long but x-lead knows him and me better than the two of us know each other.
4) Since this guy has an interest in politics so before he does damage to my reputation by approaching my manager. I should make the manager aware of the situation myself. Do not fully disclose his miss-behaviors since I should handle this mess without bothering the manager to do it. But at least, I should let him know that this is an issue and I'm going to talk to that guy about it.
Can you guys please advise me about which way I should go