When you raise through the ranks, keep in mind that your role, responsibilities, relationships shift.
It is mainly a journey you have to do alone. And you can’t make up for it by pretending you are still friend with everyone. Your words have a different weight. Your messages have a different weight. Even your ideas and opinions have a different weight. The best you can do is embrace this fact and act as it is expected by your new role.
Instead of cracking an ambiguous joke, shut up and listen.
Instead of sharing your pain and frustration, own other’s pains and frustrations.
Instead of giving your opinion on every topic, ensure that others can give theirs.
The friend complex is dangerous for founders, executives, managers. Whether you resist to it might make the difference between being alone and being lonely.
But the reality is that those sentences will continue to be spoken in companies everywhere. And the only remedy to this simple truth, is to be prepared. To have a plan, to have a reputation, to have leverage. Because it is always true that one of the main task of every marketer is to market marketing.
If you manage a company, a team, a project, the most you can do is managing the inputs and monitor the outcomes.
Too much time is wasted, too many promises broken, in the attempt to manage the outcomes. Outcomes are out of anybody’s control. Even those who have already succeeded in the field you are trying to master cannot promise outcomes.
And so, instead:
Ensure the input is aligned with what you want to achieve
Ensure the input is consistent over time
Ensure the input is promoted as success (or failure)