3 traits your middle management should have
Mid-level executives who produce results accept responsibility, make intelligent choices and effectively support the leadership of a growing company are critical to its success. As a leader your managers must work to free up time for you and your executive team to concentrate on the tasks that only you can and should carry out:
Nurturing your company culture, including its brand identity and ethos.
Optimising your strategy, deciding where to compete and how to accomplish company objectives.
Implementation planning – creating the mechanisms for core competencies to be performed.
The role of middle management is to ensure that optimal results are delivered by a motivated workforce that continuously raises the standard. Here is a simple three 'I' approach that your middle management team can follow to success:
Influence is the fundamental measure of management. A manager can influence another person's mindset, emotions and behaviour. Is this something your managers are doing now?
They must be clear about your vision and the organisational strategy and goals to succeed.
I have found that you can assess a manager's influence by looking at how quickly their team adapts, how often colleagues seek advice from them, and how much senior leadership appreciates their viewpoint.
Motivation is external, whereas inspiration is internal.
Your managers need to be able to engage with their teams' feelings, concerns and ambitions to inspire them. Motivated followers have a sense of fulfilment in their work and feel appreciated and supported.
High retention, strong employee engagement and high energy are all signs that a manager motivates their staff.
Managers must innovate now or risk becoming obsolete in the future. Emerging innovations and sectors are revolutionising how work is performed, and money is being exchanged at a rate never seen before.
I've discovered that a comfort zone is the enemy of innovation. It gives you a sense of security, but it may also lead to complacency. Managers should balance meeting their people's security needs alongside encouraging them to evolve and adapt. It's a delicate balancing act.
Too much change too quickly leads to chaos, and irrelevance results from insufficient change.
TAKEAWAY: Without strong managers, it's impossible to grow a successful company. These individuals must reflect your organisation's values, amaze you and the rest of the team, and require minimal leadership supervision. This "three I" structure is an great place to start.