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Leadership Challenges for Middle Managers

August 23, 2010

D&B Consulting

In a recent issue of a publication from the Center for Creative Leadership, they speak of the complexities of working in a middle management position.

These challenges fall into three categories:

1.Getting the top and the bottom of the hierarchy to work together. Top management sets the strategy, but unless that strategy is clearly communicated, it is difficult to get the bottom of the organization to work in tandem with the top. In addition to effectively communicating the strategy, the bottom of the organization needs to see how their jobs contribute to the achievement of the strategy.

2.Collaborating across the organization. You have to align  and integrate work with your peers from other work groups to generate a shared commitment to broader organizational initiatives. Some of your work is shared, but you also have independent responsibilities. You compete for resources and manage groups that have very different agendas. You have many demands coming from different directions, and often little postive feedback.

3. Having a demanding job and demanding roles outside of work. You might be caring for children as well as elderly parents. You may have spouses and partners you want to spend time with, commitments to volunteer organizations and your community, while trying to live a healthier and fuller life.

Benefits of a Middle Management Position

But with challenges, your work is interesting and you have the opportunity to collaborate with experienced executives and peers. When effective, you can have a significant influence on the organization.

CCL research shows that managers who have multiple life roles tend to be more effective leaders than those who focus single-mindedly on work.  Their life experiences in different areas feed off of each other and help them to develop as leaders while they improve their relationships outside of the organization.




2 Comments
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