Source | LinkedIn : By Bimal Rath
What are the key challenges middle managers face? This is one topic which may grab a lot of attention. Needless to say, there are a varied set of viewpoints and even more anecdotes and personal experiences to quote regarding this topic. Quite evidently, I have also been a part of “middle management” of the organizational hierarchy, but of course, many years ago. The nature of work and how organizations function have changed significantly over the past years.
Talking about my personal experience of coaching many ‘middle managers’ over the last few years, some key challenges stand out. While there may be several other subjective as well as external reasons why middle managers get stuck in the “middle”, this piece focuses on some generic challenges, where the individual is largely the source – part of the problem and the solution as well.
*I sincerely acknowledge the contribution of several of my fellow coaches in developing this concise list.
Challenge 1: Balancing current performance and development opportunities with future career aspirations
The Indian subcontinent comprises a very aspirational and upwardly mobile population and middle managers are a product of this phenomenon. They often focus more on the future than what is on hand at present. They tend to overlook the “here and now” aspect of work, therefore, missing delivering a superior performance (if they focus on ‘here and now’, they are likely to be more productive, develop deeper capabilities and contribute positively to their own development and growth).
Often, with this outlook, depth in terms of their capabilities gets limited or is at least untested rigorously through the application. Potential gets limited through inability to develop a solid track record. While any quest for the future is good, tall buildings can only be built on solid foundations. If the focus is always on the next career move and job, it takes the focus away from doing the current job well.