Bad managers: leaders must take responsibility

The Hay Group report highlighting ineffective middle managers (Personnel Today, 6 February) simply reinforces a long-held view of many organisations that middle managers are the ones who hold back productivity, inhibit change, and manage their own staff poorly.


But that is really the wrong headline. In the first place, as the author of the report points out, it is the responsibility of the top leaders in an organisation to ensure that those beneath them perform effectively. Second, today’s top executives are presumably yesterday’s middle managers. So what has happened to them on the way up to allow them to overcome the problems which they ascribe to their current subordinates? Or is the reality that they themselves continue to under-perform, but have the power to blame others?


It is, after all, the senior leaders who have ultimate responsibility for corporate performance and they who have the power, not to blame, but to transform performance through effective investment in the people in their organisation.


Ian Wilder
Corporate Investors in People project manager, Ministry of Defence

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