“I cannot report to someone who was 5-years my junior at B-School.”

Julia and Kevin went to the same business school and joined a bulge bracket investment firm 5-years apart in the same “Associate” program.

For the first three years, Kevin was two-levels above Julia. Over the next 4-years, they have become peers.  In the last three Julia has climbed up the ladder.  Now, Julia has been named the leader of the business unit that Kevin belongs to, and he is now asked to report into her.

Well, these reporting woes are not unique to Kevin and Julia. Reporting structures change often, and each employee has a different career path and growth trajectory.

Is Kevin wrong to feel that way? What should Kevin do? Would he feel the same way if Julia were not a woman? Should he suck it up and deal with it? Sulk and quit?  Or is he not thinking straight? How should he handle the situation?

And what about Julia? How should she manage the feelings of Kevin?  How can she make it a win-win?

Have you encountered such reporting woes in your career? If you were in either Kevin or Julia’s position how would you approach the reporting woes?

Please share your thoughts?

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