Why is it becoming more difficult to be a good middle manager?

Posted by Tania Lennon

We know that the role of the middle manager is being transformed by big changes in the way we work. Digitalization, globalization, demographic change, technology convergence – these are just some of the trends our Leadership 2030 research has shown to be reshaping organizations.

But have the demands on middle and frontline managers really changed? People are still people and the same approaches to leadership and management still apply – right?

Wrong.

Middle managers working in increasingly digitally connected matrix environments need enhanced capabilities. The complexity of their environment and the reduction in their ability to draw upon traditional control systems means they need to rely on other strengths. Here are five main areas where they need to be stronger:

  1. Emotional literacy. Increasingly diverse and disconnected workers expect their manager to understand and care about their personal context – and to adapt to their specific ...

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