BLUF: Should I raise concerns about a manager I'm likely to be reassigned to?

Me: High C individual contributor. I report to a great (High D, moderately high C), geographically local director who lets me do great work.

At a PA tomorrow I expect to be reassigned to a geographically remote manager who seems to have limited technical understanding, which makes technical conversations about work more difficult.

I'm concerned that if I report to the new manager I won't be able to contribute as well.

  • I recognize in myself that I have difficulty following weaker leaders.
  • I seem to recall reading that for technical positions, the technical competence of the supervisor has significant impact on retention.
  • I enjoy what I'm doing, and I'm concerned I'll be limited in how I can contribute if things change.
  • I don't want to tear down the team or put myself in a position where I won't be able to deliver results as effectively.

Would raising these concerns with my director tomorrow be proper and reasonable or galactically stupid?

Any thoughts on an approach would be appreciated.


rhsanborn's picture

I'd be very cautious about raising concerns. If you're going into a meeting to discuss reassignment, it means the decision is probably already made. I think the best you could do is express a preference to stick with your current leader and give a couple reasons why you think that makes you more productive (and makes his life easier). Maybe you have access to additional resources, etc. Those reasons will have to be concrete and objective. i.e. His position or this department gets you access to meetings, people, or some other resource that you will lose under the other manager. The results you get should make his work better. Do you do something for your current leader that you wouldn't do under the new manager?

Saying you'll be less effective because you won't be able to get along well with the other manager, and that that makes people more likely to leave companies doesn't help you. It may make both managers way more likely to see any negative performance or attitude in the wrong light. 



Kevin1's picture

Hi Aaron,

I hope this gets to you in time.  My advice : Don't say anything you will regret later on.

Unfortunately, we don't always get to work for someone who matches our exact picture of a perfect boss.  In fact, we rarely do.

What you could be doing, is thinking about how you can work better with this new type of boss?  What can you learn from them that you could never have learned from your existing boss?  How can you help your new boss be successful?

Good luck