I’m off for a month and I don’t want to leave my deputy in charge. Help!

Dear Aunty B,

I’m off for all of January (my first long holiday in 13 years and I can’ wait) but I am having a bit of trouble with the arrangements for the office.

It’s pretty quiet during January, so there’s not going to be too many problems. However, I’ve got to leave someone in charge.

My 2IC is extremely competent, well organised and great at getting results, but he’s a bit officious and I’m worried that the power will go to his head. I know that sometimes he rubs people up the wrong way and I don’t want it to be happening when I’m not there.

One of my other managers is cool, calm and collected, and would be ideal as the person to leave in charge.

But can I really go over (or is it under?) the head of my 2IC and put the manager in charge.

Bon voyage,



Dear Bon Voyage,

Well done to you for taking such a great break! I am sure you’ve earned a long holiday so make sure you enjoy it.

And don’t worry, because I don’t think you’ve really got much of a problem about who should mind the store over the holidays.

You’ve got a 2IC who sounds like he does a pretty good job. To go over his head and break your chain of command would seem unnecessary and probably cause you bigger problems down the track.

Pull him aside and tell him that you are seeing this as period as a big test of his management skills. Tell him you think that while he is great at his job, he needs to work harder on inspiring others and leading by example and with collaboration.

Tell him that he needs to relax a bit and show trust in his team. Tell him that you’ve learned that taking an officious attitude doesn’t get great results, but empowering staff does.

This is a great test for him to improve his leadership skills and for you to decide whether he stays as 2IC. Because it sounds like you’ve got another candidate waiting in the wings.

Be smart,

Your Aunty B

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