My predecessor was loved by the staff. What they don’t know is he was bad at his job and left the sales department in a really bad way. Now I’m here cleaning up his mess and being seen as a monster. It’s a thankless task. Any suggestions? M.T., Baltimore, MD
While it’s clear that you’re distressed that your team is not judging you fairly, remember that being loved by the staff is not why you’re there. If you’re new, focus on doing the right thing for the business while educating the staff regarding why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Be careful not to mention the previous department manager. Trying to get them to see that their previous boss created a lot of this mess will just make you look defensive and it won’t accomplish anything substantive. Instead, by making the necessary changes and consistently telling them why you’re doing so, you’ll be raising questions in their own minds regarding why these things weren’t done before.
As things settle down, emotions should normalize and you’ll be seen for who you are. Change often brings out the worst in people emotionally so hang tight, make sure your personal support system is strong, and continue focusing on doing a good job.
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