Middle management used to be the place where careers stalled, but the pandemic has turned that notion on its head. In fact, mid-level leaders possess more agency now than at any other time in recent history.
The tight job market is opening up new opportunities for capable middle managers who show initiative. The old saying “people don’t leave organizations; people leave people” has never been truer. Companies that don’t tangibly show that they value their best people—by developing their skills and helping them reach their full potential—will lose them, perhaps to competitors.
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Companies tend to gauge capacity based on leaders’ technical execution of tasks, but that perspective overlooks foundational elements that help these professionals reach a higher level—the T-shaped leader.
In this development model, the vertical line of the T represents de...
The middle tier of the pyramid addresses a leader’s skills. Conventional thinking considers skills merely a person’s abilities. In the MSK Framework, the skills level seeks to answer the question: Who are you as a leader? Emotional intelligence reigns supreme here.
To begin exploring and cultivating a leader’s mindset, organizations should shift from “telling” to “inquiring.” Directive dialogue teaches your direct reports about how you think.
Inquiry creates the opportunity for your direct reports to slow down and gain insight into how they think. W...
Organizations should invite leaders to identify no more than two areas in the emotional intelligence domain on which they would like to focus. The areas selected will offer greater insight into the question: Who are you as a leader?
This approach builds on the Day, Harrison, and Halpin’s view of leader development, which argues that improving leaders’ knowledge, skill, and attitudes will increase their capacity.
The pyramid shaped MSK Framework takes these principles a step further, offering organizat...
The foundational level of the MSK Leader Development Framework pyramid targets a leader’s mindset, in particular, the beliefs that orient the way we handle situations and sort out what is going on.
In order to assess what a leader can do and build additional capacity, the organiza...
The top tier of the Framework considers a leader’s knowledge. Knowledge includes the leader’s technical training, socialization, and executing abilities. Some organizations focus on this tier at the expense of the previous ones, but a shift in perspective can produce significant results, part...
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