It happens in every industry across the world, and it happens to all of us at least once in our professional lives. There will come a time when your boss is no longer with the organization. Sometimes you know it’s coming, and sometimes it’s out of the blue. Sometimes the timing is as best as it can be and other times it couldn’t happen at a worse time. Either way, it’s one of those things we have to deal with once or twice in our lives.
Here are some tips, from a sportscasters point of view, on how to get through those moments of uncertainty when your leadership goes through changes.
1) Don’t Panic
I know, I know. Easier said than done, but it’s true. Some people will hear that their boss is on the way out and immediately assume the worst. They think that the broadcast will be cut, that the media department will lose money in next year’s budget, or worse. It’s not unreasonable to believe that since the person who (probably) hired you is out, that your position could be in jeopardy, too. Just because the person who manages your day to day changing, doesn’t necessarily mean your whole life will be turned upside down. The best thing you can do when you know a change is imminent? Focus on having the best call you can game-in and game-out just like you always do.
Now, I don’t want to sugarcoat it; there’s always that chance that new management comes in and upturns a bunch of processes may considerably affect you. Worrying about that from the get-go accomplishes nothing and only hurts you in the short term AND the long run. Cross that bridge if and when you come to it.
2) Be Crystal Clear
Once the initial shockwave dies down, and the new management has had the time to adjust, speak with them. Whether it’s someone new to the organization or a current employee assuming an interim role, let them know what it is you do on a day to day basis. What are your goals? How are you currently working toward them? What guidance were you following that was handed down to you by your former superior?
If you’re up front with the new person(s) pulling strings, you’re more likely to be left alone in the sense that – a person executing a well-constructed plan needs less management than someone who has become idly lost. It’s those who are spinning their tires that will get the attention from the new overseers at the onset.
Don’t, however, ignore the new boss(es) and carry on like they don’t exist, hoping to fly under their radar. Not only will you fail at going undetected, but it will make you come off as standoffish and passive-aggressive. Which brings me to my next point…
3) Be a Team Player
Simple, straightforward, and something we all have learned since kindergarten. Be real to the fact that with the new leadership there may be some structural and procedural changes. You may be asked to assume duties you’ve never undertaken before, or there might be changes to your day-to-day. The new management may even have thoughts or preferences in regards to how you approach your broadcast, sponsors, etc. If you made your intentions clear early on, none of these new changes should hamper your growth as a sportscaster. By being clear about your goals and directives, everyone will be on the same page and see the same picture.
Also, offer any outside talents you have (sales, creative, management skills, etc.) to create a bridge between you and the new regime. It shows that you’re on board and that as long your needs are met you’re going to be an asset, not an a**.
4) Don’t Forget What You’re There For
You’re a broadcaster. You’re there to be a conduit between the fans and the action. To use your gift of speech, intelligence, and attention to detail to bring the game to those who couldn’t be there in person. Don’t lose sight of that. Sometimes the office can get filled with gossip, panic, and negativity. Don’t buy into it and just keep your nose down. Work on that game prep, keep critiquing yourself and always be professional. It doesn’t matter whether your boss is Joe Schmoe or John Doe, you have a commitment to yourself and your listeners to put out the best product you possibly can.
Having your boss leave can bring about a lot of uncertainty into a workplace…however the only parts of the situation you can control are your actions and attitude. If you’re able to maintain a positive and professional demeanor then you’ll weather the storm and come out better on the other side.