You’ve Just Been Promoted. Now What?

Avatar Talent Plus

November 15, 2017 Blog Leadership

Getting promoted is reason to celebrate so hopefully, that’s what you do first! Then what? Let’s say this promotion involves managing people – maybe even people who used to be your peers. What can you do – starting right away – to succeed in this new role?

Act with Confidence. When in charge, take charge. Don’t act like you have something to prove. You’ve already proven it. Give direction in a matter-of-fact way. Make it clear through your conversational tone and relaxed demeanor that you expect people to follow your direction. Don’t give direction apologetically, and don’t be afraid to rock the boat by making positive changes. Good managers and leaders improve things, and improvement requires change.

Ask questions. Not just any questions. Now that you’re a manager, it’s easier for your questions to become rhetorical or instructive – statements in the form of a question. Make sure your questions are open-ended so you don’t steer the answers in the way you ask the question. Express genuine interest, curiosity and vulnerability. Ask questions without knowing what the answer will be. Ask questions with a sincere desire to learn. This shows respect for the experience and expertise of the people on your team, which makes them feel valued and increases trust.

Hold People Accountable. If you’ve been promoted to a position of leadership, don’t try to maintain your status as “one of the team.” Your relationship with the people on your team has changed. You can still be friends. In fact, we encourage that! But you can’t allow your former peers to take unfair advantage of your friendship. You must hold people accountable. Clarify that you intend to be an ally, not a judge, but hold people accountable because doing so will enhance their growth and the growth of the team.

Keep an Open Door and an Open Mind. Give each person you manage the time they need, when they need it. Doing so builds trust and demonstrates that they matter to you. Ask people for their opinions, input and help. This demonstrates your respect for their knowledge, experience and capabilities. Express gratitude when people make a positive difference. When you encounter undesirable attitudes or behaviors, keep an open mind. Seek first to understand why and work from there.

Actively Help People Grow. As a manager, your central responsibility is to help other people do their best work. Ask questions to help understand people’s unique aspirations, motivations and needs. Then work actively to help each person make progress on his or her individual goals. Ask how you can help. Then, do what your asked to do as quickly as you possibly can. When the people you manage succeed, you succeed, and you grow through helping them grow.

+ Larry Sternberg, J.D. and Kim Turnage, Ph.D.

Larry Sternberg and Kim Turnage are authors of Managing to Make a Difference: How to Engage, Retain & Develop Talent for Maximum Performance, a handbook for how to hit the sweet spot of middle management. As senior leaders with Talent Plus, Inc., they have been trusted advisors to hundreds of business leaders on how to select, retain and develop top talent. Learn more at

Latest Posts: Blog

Individual taking a Talent Plus Talent Online Assessment

Blog June 20, 2024

Integrating Talent Plus Assessments with Your Applicant Tracking System (ATS) 

Learn how integrating Talent Plus assessments into your ATS can streamline your talent acquisition process and improve candidate volume.

Fran Westfall Fran Westfall

Read More
Mother with two kids on school break working at home.

Blog June 03, 2024

How Workplaces Can Support Working Parents During Summer Break

Summer breaks rarely match up with work schedules, affecting working parents. Leaders must adapt & accommodate or risk losing good employees.

Zack Robertson Zack Robertson

Read More
Employee who has great well-being at work.

Blog May 09, 2024

Well-Being, Burnout and How To Invest in Your Employees

Boost employee engagement and well-being with these four strategies. Learn the keys to fostering a dynamic and flourishing workplace culture.

Zack Robertson Zack Robertson

Read More
Happy individual at work

Blog May 03, 2024

Unlock Your Potential With the Talent Card

Unlock your potential with the Talent Card. Discover the benefits of understanding your talents and learn examples of how to leverage them.

Avatar Talent Plus

Read More
Diverse employees congratulate man on business achievements, excellent work results or promotion.

Blog May 02, 2024

DEIB Strategies for Fair Promotion Processes 

Maribel Cruz explores the impact of unbiased evaluations and standardized promotion processes within organizations.

Maribel Cruz Maribel Cruz

Read More