Every successful organization has leaders and managers and has figured out how to effectively utilize each best. Perhaps your Middle Market company has been able to. If you successfully balance the needs of responsibility, leadership, innovation and control, congratulations!
However, many companies haven’t been able to come up with the right formula yet. They struggle to ensure their leadership and management teams (and styles) are congruent and successful. If that seems familiar, there are various things you can do to tip the scales. The first place to start with is responsibility. Your company surely needs managers. And, to be successful, they’ll carry a large amount of responsibility on their shoulders. But, you can’t overload them if you want to get most from your managers. Responsibility without freedom, decision-making power and time to be strategic and innovative is a bad mixture. So, if this is your reality, your company and managers are probably suffering.
Freedom To Make Decisions And Mistakes
Are your Middle Market managers are just tasked with getting results? Do they spend their days running reports and putting out employee fires? Do they have freedom to try things? Or, do they have to run it up the chain of command to numerous executives and leaders? If you are nodding, you are basically creating over-paid babysitters.
If you are just asking them to enforce the rules and keep everything running, you are missing out. Make sure your management teams have the ability to make some decisions on their own. In addition to giving this freedom, you’ll want to make sure managers know you expect them to handle and learn from the consequences.
By allowing your managers to evaluate the information at their disposal and make decisions, you’ll show you trust their judgment and you also trust them enough to resolve any issues that arise. You’ll demonstrate that it is ok to try and fail, as long as you prepare for all eventualities and are able to learn from missteps.
As you allow them more and more freedom, your managers will develop their skills at both problem solving and putting out fires. You’ll also teach critical evaluation and thinking skills that they can’t learn from asking someone else to answer every question that strays from their perceived boundaries.
Strategic And Innovative
Often, management and leaders are given very different roles and aimed in almost opposing directions. Middle Market companies typically need all personnel to wear multiple hats and your managers aren’t exempt.
While their main focus may be on the day to day running of their areas, helping direct employees, and tracking data and metrics, you’d be remiss if you don’t provide opportunities for their strategic and innovative ideas.
Since they do see the inner workings of your organization on a more granular level than your C-Suite and Executive teams, managers typically have a wealth of data and information at their fingertips. They may have many ideas to increase your revenue, efficiency, cut costs, etc. but aren’t coached and trained on what to do with the information and ideas they have. Instead of letting the invaluable knowledge go to waste, make sure you encourage management to utilize what they see and know.
While the management at your Middle Market company is necessary to keep everything running smoothly, by focusing their attention strictly on responsibility you are short-changing not only them but your organization as a whole.
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