When Your Friend Becomes Your Boss

Here are some handy pointers (and a couple case studies) on how to handle that moment when your buddy becomes your boss by the author of the HBR Guide to Dealing with Conflict at Work, Amy Gallo.


  • Openly acknowledge that your former peer is now in charge and you intend to work well with her
  • Put yourself in his shoes and try to figure out what will help him be successful
  • Set yourself apart by being willing to share concerns and deliver bad news


  • Assume that your relationship won’t change. It will — and should.
  • Expect that you will get special treatment because you’ve worked with the boss before
  • Kiss up. Many people do, but your new boss will be wary of such behaviour.