What is the best way to deal with a new boss?

Friday April 23 2021

Caroline Mboijana

By Caroline Mboijana

Dear Caroline,
After long service in the company, my boss is leaving, but I am worried his replacement will not share his vision or might have a radically different work ethic. How do I deal with the change while being a good team player? Gordon

Hello Gordon,

It is no surprise that you are feeling anxious about having a new boss. As humans, we like consistency and certainty.

With a new boss comes the risk of change, the fear that what you treasure about your current values and your current team will be lost.

This is especially true in your situation as your current boss has been there for so long.

The first thing I would say is that you should try to keep in mind that the person who will be your new boss is likely feeling anxious.

It is no doubt intimidating for them to be stepping into this position, managing a new team in a new organisation. This is a significant change for them too. So, try to empathise with them and do everything you can to help them settle into this position and into the organisation you work for.


Your new boss will be different from your old boss. They might have a different leadership style or a different way that they work. They may not be what you were hoping for or expecting.

Try not to compare them to your old boss and restrain from complaining about them to others. Instead, seek to understand them and recognise that different does not mean wrong.

With a new leader, you should expect and accept change. The new boss may indeed have a different vision from your old one. While it is important that you communicate with them what you appreciate about the existing vision, be aware that they may come in with new ideas for your team.

Rather than resisting the change, get involved in it.
Finally, it is essential to maintain a positive attitude. Having the same boss for a long time can lead you to become too comfortable.

This change may come with some challenges, but it may also create new growth opportunities. Try to adjust your attitude from one of fear about change and the unknown to one of excitement about new possibilities.  
Good luck!

Caroline Mboijana,
Managing Director, The Leadership Team (U)