Yet There Is a Significant Lack of Leadership Training for Mid-Level Leaders
Mid-level management jobs and leadership positions are extremely challenging.
In today’s flatter organizational structures, mid-level leaders are required to handle and juggle a wide range of ever-increasing responsibilities while coping with constantly changing corporate strategies, greater interpersonal conflicts, and team members who are frequently less than highly engaged.
Without strong and skilled mid-level leadership in place, your corporate and divisional strategies will likely to go off track, with results falling short of desired goals.
Additionally, mid-level leaders are usually best placed to orchestrate and implement change. For, as Rosabeth Moss Kanter noted in her Harvard Business Review article The Middle Manager as Innovator, in July/August 2004, mid-level leaders and managers “have their finger on the pulse of the operation and can conceive, suggest, and set in motion new ideas that top managers have not thought of.”
This is why I say that mid-level leaders are the glue between strategy and execution.
And yet, there is a tremendous lack of formal leadership training and development in organizations for mid-level leaders.
Leadership Development for Mid-Level Leaders, New Supervisors, Managers
In many organizations, training is primarily focused on developing technical skills — creating managers and individual contributors who are knowledgeable and competent in their respective jobs but who are not trained in the fundamentals of leading people.
One area of particular weakness in mid-level leaders and new supervisors that I have noticed in my 25 years of international leadership development training is their inability to give relevant, useful, and beneficial feedback.
In fact, giving feedback is one of the greatest fears of new leaders at all levels of an organization.
Because of the lack of training in best-practice feedback methods, mid-level leaders can only rely on the feedback processes they have encountered and experienced from their own managers over the years. As a result, bad habits are repeated and promulgated. What should be a factor in increasing employee engagement is often an undesired key disengagement factor.
This is a mistake you need to avoid.
To read more on this subject, download our free article Mid-Level Leaders Are the Glue Between Strategy and Execution.