One of the hardest transitions new managers can make is going from colleague to boss. People that were often friends now become subordinates.
It's not an easy thing to do.
It's a transition Michael Jordan made when he became owner of the NBA's Charlotte Hornets. Jordan is now not only an owner - he is a new member of the committee of owners that will negotiate a revenue sharing contract with the NBA Players Association.
Jordan will bring not only the experience of owning a team in one of the NBA's smaller markets, but also the distinction of being the NBA's greatest player - and an idol to many of the people he will be negotiating with, including NBA Player Association Vice President LeBron James.
The irony of going from labor to management is made greater by the fact that Jordan, representing the Players Association in their 1998 negotiations, told Washington Wizards owner (and Jordan's future boss), "If you can't make a profit, you should sell your team."
As an owner, Jordan's tune has now changed.
And anyone who has made the transition from employee to management will tell you that your tune will change, too.
Here are a few things to learn from Jordan's transition:
1. You are going to have to choose a side.
You can be friends with your colleagues. However, that becomes almost impossible once you transition from co-worker to manager. Even if it is technically possible it is not advisable to try and be both a friend and a boss.
A boss can be friendly. A boss should always treat people with dignity and respect. But a boss should not try and be friends with his or her direct reports.
If you attempt to straddle the line and remain a friend while becoming a boss there is a good chance you will lose the friendship - and be an ineffective leader.
2. You stand a good chance of being accused of being a hypocrite. Deal with it.
In those 1998 negotiations Jordan argued for players to gain a greater share of league income, a position that many owners argued would hurt small-market teams and create a competitive imbalance.
(In layman's terms, that means teams in markets like Charlotte, Salt Lake City, and Oklahoma City would not be able to afford the same level of talent as teams in Chicago, New York, or Los Angeles.)
Today, as owner of a small-market team, Jordan is taking the exact opposite position.
Does that make him a hypocrite? Not really.
As a player Jordan was arguing a position that he believed was in the best interests of the constituents he represented, which at the time included himself.
As an owner he has now taken the opposite position, but he is still arguing something that he believes is in the best interests of the constituents he represents, which includes himself.
Neither Jordan's position in 1998 nor his position in 2016 are morally wrong. They are just two different sides of the same argument. Your view will change when you go from being an employee to being a manager.
That's why, even with the best of intentions, it will be hard to keep your friends.
3. You got promoted for a reason. Own your success.
There is a reason why Michael Jordan became the first majority owner who is also an ex-player. His status as the greatest basketball player ever gave him the financial resources to seize that opportunity.
If you've been promoted from co-worker to boss, seize your opportunity. Treat your ex-colleagues with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Become the type of boss they need, and don't apologize for your success.
Own what you've become, and thrive in your new role.