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Submitted by Justin_B on


So, I'm interested to hear your feedback on my situation. What would your take be? How would you react?

The details -

I have recently accepted a promotion to the role of General Manager as our small company has expanded to have operations on both coasts of the US. This is very exciting as it is the kind of role I've been working towards for some time now. My family is moving across the country in a few short weeks and starting anew!

This is all great; except for one small thing that has been on my mind. Our owner and current GM (moving to CEO) have made various comments about the qualifications of another individual who has been hired for a role that will report to me. Essentially, the message is that he is more-than-qualified for my position but he was just going to require more flexibilty than would be possible. In addition, they both have known this person for years and have worked together in earlier pursuits. 

The commitment has been made on both sides, and we are moving, but I am struggling a little bit with this feeling that they really wanted him to fill the spot and I'm just the next viable option. I thought about it a bit yesterday and have an idea of my plan to react to this, but was interested to hear from other career-minded professionals. Thank you.

Chris Zeller's picture
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Hi J,

Congratulations on the promotion and the move. It sounds both exciting and stressful.

Without a clear reason and behavioral track record to indicate that the organization (and these people) can't be trusted, I think the path forward is to assume positive intent and focus on achieiving the objectives of your new role.

Avoid driving yourself crazy by overthinking things and second-guessing everyone. Unless your relationships with the CEO and this other individual are incredibly good and built on a solid foundation of trust, you many never be privy to their innermost thoughts. You'd have to both feel comfortable asking the question and be certain of a 100% truthful answer.

A well-qualified direct can be a boon. I recommend doubling down on that relationship and building trust. Worrying about whether or not he's waiting in the wings to replace you is a distraciton that makes your life more difficult than it needs to be.