The Senior Leaders are Missing Out

Leadership tip: What middle managers need: Better leadership SUPPORT. What middle managers get instead: Leadership TRAINING.

“This training is excellent, but what do we do if we’re not getting this type of support from our Manager?”

“I’m frustrated because I’m giving my team this type of support and it’s working, but I get none of this from my Manager.”

“I have no idea what my objectives are, how am I supposed to help my team develop aligned goals?”

“They’re nice and helpful, but I’m afraid to tell my Manager that these are the things I really need to succeed and stay here.”

“Same.”

“Same.”

“Same.”

“Same.”

In my experience, a leadership program for middle managers often uncovers a lot of opportunities.  And the middle managers are afraid to say anything to their leaders. 

The Ownership, Executive, and Senior Leadership teams have no idea.  They believe themselves to be open, available, supportive, etc.  “If there was a problem, I’d know about it.” 

And we get stuck.  The middle managers frustrated because they can’t get better results without better support.  The senior leaders unaware of the frustration, stress, and unrealized potential because they don’t have the open communication they think they do. 

Don’t get me wrong, leadership training for middle managers is important.  But it’s not the only piece of the puzzle.  To succeed, middle managers need things like clear objectives and expectations, regular check-ins, and to feel safe speaking up and making mistakes. 

But how do we get the Owners, Executive, and Senior Leadership Teams to see what they aren’t seeing and embark on leadership training for themselves first?  I’m still working on answering this…