Support, Don't Rescue

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.

The Middle Management Gap

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?

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.

The Cost of Losing "Just" One Team Member

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.

Practice

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.

Can or Can't?

Do your conversations typically start with "can" or "can't?"

One generates dialogue. The other shuts it down.

If you answered "it depends," you fall into the "can't" category.

Align Your Team

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.

Build Support and Accountability

Let’s face it; we all need help along the way.

Create Your Goals for the Coming Year

If you have been following my last few posts, I have been setting you up for this goal setting article.

With guiding principles to help steer you in the right direction and a bold and audacious attitude, you are ready to establish the goals that will help you generate the life you desire and deserve.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

From everyone at 5.12 Solutions - we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a reminder of the beauty of your dreams.

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