‘Team members seem to be having a problem reporting to me’

Sakal Times
Sunday, 27 January 2019

I have been working in a multinational company for the last four years. Last year, I was promoted and I now head my department which consists of 15 people — three seniors besides me and 12 youngsters.

I have been working in a multinational company for the last four years. Last year, I was promoted and I now head my department which consists of 15 people — three seniors besides me and 12 youngsters. I have had a problem with one of the seniors when I requested him to do some work. He sternly told me that he doesn’t report to me. As for the youngsters, some of them are shirkers and argue with me whenever I assign them work. Some of them went to my immediate senior to complain about me. He, being a sensible person, heard me out. But the problem persists because they seem to be having a problem reporting to me. How do I extract work out of them? It is important both for the benefit of the organisation and for my personal growth too.

Ahh, I see what’s happening darling. Everyone thinks you’re just fudge, but now you’ve got to show them that you’re actually a rather tough cookie. Whenever there is a transition of power, people take time to adjust to the new authority. There’s always resistance, but it doesn’t last long. It seems like you worked very hard to get where you are, and now that you are in charge, you’ve got to take charge.
 
Youngsters can be a handful. It’s maddening to deal with their sense of self-entitlement. But you know what, getting them in line is not a tough nut to crack. What works with my niece and nephews is revoking their privileges to show them who’s boss. You’ll have to find a way to hold them accountable for slacking. Even if you get a few unfriendly stares here and there, don’t let it knock you off your mission to run a tight ship.
 
The real problem is the band of back-stabbing seniors you’ve got circling over you like vultures waiting for you to drop. It is their sense of self-entitlement that will cause many problems for you. They’re going to take advantage of your humility and extract as much guilt from you as possible. Why guilt? Because they think you ought to be guilty for having surpassed them. They will try their best to bring you down with their vicious pettiness. And it’s most vital at this time that you keep your head high, chin up, look them in the eye and tell them as politely as possible to complete the task you’ve assigned them. 

The moment they argue, start making notes in a black diary, spell out their name while doing so too, and then tell them you’re working on a top secret mission for the company. If they mess with you, don’t be afraid to smartly mess with them too. They will fold like a cheap suitcase. And always remember Uncle Ben’s words, with great power comes responsibility.

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