In the first part of this article, published in our March newsletter, we talked about 4 challenges mid-level managers face. They are often viewed as "caught in the middle" between the senior leaders above them who impose strategy that they are required to implement, and the team members who work for them that look up for direction and support. The four common and costly challenges I outlined were:
The performance management process in many organizations is irrelevant. Create 12-month/annual goals and then ignore the goals throughout the year.
How about a more agile process instead?
1. Create quarterly or more frequent goals that are aligned with organizational goals.
2. Make the review process more frequent - e.g., quarterly.
3. Update goals throughout the year so that they are in line with the latest organizational and market changes.
Here's one thing every leader must know. People want to know that their contributions matter.
But recognition efforts often fail when the following happens:
In the first of three posts about The Global Leadership Team, we talked about the importance of cultivating the team with agile leaders. Part 2 focused on creating the team's cultural building blocks. This post is focused on enhancing trust and respect among team members.
Building Trust and Respect Among Team Members
In the first of three posts about The Global Leadership Team, we talked about the importance of cultivating the team with agile leaders. In this post we'll focus on the importance of creating the cultural building blocks.
Intentionally Creating the Team's Cultural Building Blocks
In our work with senior leadership teams, we typically start by helping the team put in place what we call the Cultural Building Blocks. These are the foundational components that enable a team to be successful - regardless of whether team members are co-located or global.
Separated by time. Separated by distance. Separated by cultural differences.
Meet the global leadership team.
They are comprised of people living and working in various parts of the world. Sometimes all team members are remote. Usually some are co-located. The global leadership team faces many of the same challenges as a co-located leadership team, but require additional attention and intention to be successful. Consider these challenges that often derail global leadership team efforts.
People are often promoted to positions of leadership because they were good at what they did technically - as a software developer, analyst, nurse, technician, etc.
They are sometimes viewed as "caught in the middle."
And for good reason. Senior leaders above them impose strategy that they are required to implement, and the team members who work for them look up for direction and support.
Meet the middle manager.
Now, most middle managers I know are enthusiastic, smart, and able, but there are several challenges that they face that usually go unseen.
Challenge 1: They are expected to rollout strategy without clarity of a clear vision and goals from senior leadership.
I have written in the past about how "vision" often alludes leaders. "I'm not visionary" is something I often hear in my leadership development programs.
As a result, leaders often fail to create and communicate a vision and instead develop project plans and product road maps. These are important tools, but they are management tools. They are tools for controlling what is happening today. I don't know anyone who was ever inspired by a project plan or a product road map.
I am amazed at how many leaders don't know the cost of losing good people. They often only associate administrative costs, recruiting costs, and interviewing time toward the overall impact when a good person leaves.
The challenge is that the true costs are so much more.