Career Advice Career Doctor

How to build up trust as a young leader


I was promoted by my company so I could head up the opening of a new office. I was also assigned a team, half of whom were from my old office, and the other half from other locations.

But, I don’t have the traction with them that I wish I had. The ones from other offices don’t know me at all, and could only judge me based on what my old office colleagues had to say about me. Unfortunately, my promotion was a bit of a surprise even for them, as I was the youngest employee in our old office and was relatively inexperienced compared to my co-workers. Some of them had even competed for the same post and are probably resentful that I beat them to it.

The reason I was promoted was because I presented the most compelling business development plan for the new location, and on a measure of performance metrics, I was easily in the top percentile of all the candidates competing to manage the new office. I may be young, but neither youth nor age are measures of aptitude or capability. Age is just a number.

So now I get to implement the plan I proposed. But, I can’t do it without the unreserved backing of my team, which I don’t have. How do I go about establishing the sort of trust and credibility with my team that I’ll need if we’re going to make this office one of the company’s top-performing locations?