Sal's Perspective

The Middle Management Gap

March 17, 2012 -- Sal Silvester

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.

Where's the Vision?

March 15, 2012 -- Sal Silvester

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.

Practice

February 22, 2012 -- Sal Silvester

A great way to develop as a leader is to practice. Yes, literally practice.

For example, if you have found that you struggle being courageous in meetings, find some low risk opportunities to speak up. Practice.

Or, if you just go along for the sake of getting along, find a low risk opportunity to challenge the status quo. Practice.

Or, if you doubt yourself and defer to others, sit up straight and look the part unit there is no doubt. Practice.

Align Your Team

January 7, 2012 -- Sal Silvester

The first week of January is over. Are your people aligned?

Is every team member, from your front line employee to supervisor to mid-level manager and above, clear about the strategic direction of the organization? In most companies, it’s well into the calendar year before team members understand the vision and strategy. If this is the case on your team, you'll probably notice a lack of clarity, confusion and unspoken expectations. The business results you'll experience are lost productivity, low employee engagement, and missed opportunities.

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