Tough lesson from Rubiales for New Managers

When you step up from being part of the team to leading the team your role changes considerably and so does the acceptability of your actions. What you used to be able to get away with, some people will now take offence. 

Screenshot 2023 08 29 at 17You can not escape anywhere in the world the current controversy of the situation where Luis Rubiales, in a height of excitement, with all the hugging as the Spanish women's football team won the world cup, hugged Jenni Hermoso and kissed her on the lips.Whether you agree or disagree with the Rubiales situation, as a manager you can not put yourself at risk like this. The moment you become the team leader, you are no longer part of that team, these people are in your charge and therefore you have a duty of care.

It is really hard when you want to be engaged and involved with your team, especially if you spend a lot of time with them, but unfortunately, part of the reason you have the title and extra paycheck, is that you are the one who is the manager and you must distance yourself a little from it.

Rubiales should have known better, that even in the heat of excitement and celebration, he crossed a line and someone took offence. Even if Hermoso didn' t, other people have and the world has now got on the bandwagon. Whether you agree or disagree, I think we can all agree that if he hadn't done it, then this problem wouldn't have erupted.


The Dynamics of Promotion: Navigating the Shift in Relationships

Promotions are often seen as the pinnacle of professional success. They come with increased responsibility, a potential pay raise, and a sense of accomplishment. However, as many, like the football manager Rubiales, have discovered, being the boss can also bring about unforeseen challenges, particularly in the realm of interpersonal relationships.

The Psychology Behind the Change

When an individual is promoted, especially to a leadership position, the dynamics of their relationships with colleagues can shift dramatically. Here's why:

  1. Perceived Power Dynamics: A promotion often comes with increased authority. This can lead to colleagues viewing the promoted individual as more of a figure of authority rather than a peer. This shift can lead to feelings of intimidation or resentment.

  2. Jealousy and Competition: Not everyone will be happy about another's success. Some may feel they were more deserving of the promotion or may be envious of the perceived benefits that come with the new role.

  3. Change in Responsibilities: With new roles come new responsibilities. Tasks and decisions that once seemed collaborative might now fall squarely on the shoulders of the promoted individual, leading to potential conflicts.

Protecting Yourself After a Promotion

Navigating the choppy waters of post-promotion dynamics requires tact, empathy, and strategic thinking. Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Open Communication: Initiate conversations with your team and peers. Address the change, acknowledge potential feelings, and express your desire to maintain positive relationships. This can dispel any brewing misunderstandings.

  2. Stay Humble: Remember where you came from and the journey you took to get to your new position. Avoid flaunting your new status. Instead, focus on being a servant leader, putting the needs of your team first.

  3. Seek Feedback: Regularly ask for feedback from both peers and subordinates. This not only shows that you value their input, but it also helps you adjust your approach if needed.

  4. Invest in Relationship Building: Spend time getting to know your team and peers on a personal level. Organize team-building activities or casual get-togethers. Strong relationships can act as a buffer against potential conflicts. But remember not to make it all about drinks. Some people aren't into that. 

  5. Stay Educated: Consider taking courses on leadership, conflict resolution, and communication. The more tools you have in your arsenal, the better equipped you'll be to handle challenges.

  6. Document Everything: Especially in the early days of your new role, it's wise to document decisions, meetings, and interactions. This can protect you if any grievances are raised against you. (Can't express this one enought)

  7. Seek Mentorship: Connect with someone who has been in a similar position. Their insights and experiences can guide you, helping you avoid potential pitfalls.


Promotions, while exciting, come with their own set of challenges. By understanding the dynamics at play and being proactive in building and maintaining relationships, you can navigate this transition smoothly. Remember, leadership is as much about people as it is about tasks. Prioritize relationships, and you'll set yourself up for long-term success.

More information on Sales Coaching can be found in the latest Salecology Book,  and click the image below to take a look at our course on Stepping Up to Sales Team Leader. 


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