Mid-management layer plays a vital role in the success of an organization. They act as the bridge between the Top management and employees who deliver results.
Scaling the mid-management should be one of the key focus areas in organizations.
That brings us to the question “Are you doing everything to help this layer?”
A decade back, out of the blue, I was called one day by my leader and told that I would be leading my team. I was a 1st-time manager. Imagine the excitement when I heard these words come from my leader.
The excitement was short-lived as within a few months I realized that managing a team (who were my peers/friends a few months back) was a challenge that I was not prepared for.
My formal education helped me be a great resource as a Business consultant, but I started to understand that my education did not help me build the muscle to “Manage People”.
This is where the Mid-management challenges start – you do not have a lot of options to upskill and prepare yourself. There is no formal education or course that certifies you as a “Manager”
I see a pattern where a great Individual Contributor (exceptional at work) is made the manager with the assumption that he/she will somehow figure out the skills required to manage people.
First-time managers struggle as they suddenly find themselves in scenarios they have never been in before – conflict resolution, managing upwards & downwards, motivating the team, addressing a tough team member, etc.
— How did I overcome these challenges —-
I tapped into my network of #mentors and started to learn from their experience. Regular mentoring sessions started helping me immensely and based on their recommendations, I started to enroll myself in leadership training (both internal and external)
If you aspire to be a People manager someday, I would recommend you start your preparation a good 2-3 years before you become a manager. And as a leader, if you are planning to make someone a first-time manager, please ensure that the resource is ready before throwing him/her into the fire !!!