I have re-written this email several times, in an attempt to not make it sound like whining.  I work for a new company who is growing at a rapid pace. I am a director of tech. and report directly to the CIO. I have just been assigned my 2nd direct report. The CIO has hired this individual personally to fill a gap which is partly outside of my scope. However he wants me to manage this individual and as he develops the application support he will be doing will match up with my helpdesk responsibilities.

1. My concerns come into the fact that my boss hired this person
2. They have a past relationship. (Military service)
3. My direct’s first project is outside of my sphere and he’ll have to work closely with my boss.
4. My new direct is probably 20 years my senior, isn’t an issue just adds to the awkwardness.

I don’t want to sound as if I am trying to assert myself, or usurp anything. But I need to maintain control and not have this direct feel as though he reports directly to the CIO. (Who doesn’t truly have time to handle another direct)

Can anybody help give me some guidance on this?

jhack's picture

First, you should have weekly one on ones with the new direct. Build a relationship. Understand his perspective.

Second, make sure you and the CIO agree on the key things: who writes the review, who decides salary, who sets priorities, to whom is status reported, etc (only you know exactly what they are).

Third, focus your efforts on collaborating with him to acheive the goals set by the CIO. Be patient. See if he "goes around you" or works with you. Don't assume this is a bad thing.

Finally, ask yourself why you "need to maintain control." What is the goal here?


MattJBeckwith's picture
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Dave, I love the screen named you used.

I'll echo John's point; one-on-ones with your new direct are crucial; you didn't mention it but one-on-one meetings should not be with him and your boss.

As managers, we often get put in situations where our DR has more knowledge in a specific area. Make sure you are consultative with your DR - ask for his advice, be open and honest and be sure to give him feedback. You have to start on the right-track. Regular communication, feedback, one-on-ones, coaching should all be the precedent. Over time, your confidence will grow.

US41's picture

Currently, all you have are worries. I don't think you should change your behavior because you are worried. Change your behavior and take action when something actually happens.

Just fire up the O3 process, set objectives (MT Goals), measure performance, build the relationship and see what happens.

You are wise to find out about and recognize the relationship between he and the CIO. That relationship is GREAT for you if this person performs for you and you get along.

If you don't get along or he resists you, then you have a problem, but he hasn't done that yet, so forget about that for now and plow ahead.

Stay positive, do your thing, and give him a chance to make you happy before you start burying mines all around him. :-)