There comes a time in the life of an executive when you can no longer train and manage new recruits directly. Managing them becomes an inefficient use of your time and equity. When that time comes, I pray you have middle managers to pick up the slack.
Middle level managers are the bridge between the history of an organisation and its vibrant future. They preserve institutional memory beyond manuals and processes. And, the quality of middle management is inversely proportional to the key man risk within an organisation. It is a measure of structure and continuity.
Self-motivation, initiative and learning capacity are gifts. They’re not common. Therefore, to create the kind of middle level management you need, you must put in place deliberate training programmes. Yes, managers may leave after you’ve trained them but that begs the questions, “Why do they leave in the first place? And what if they don’t leave?” However, for industries with high attrition rates, executives may need to train a pool of managers so the leadership pipeline is well fed.
Ultimately, if you refuse to develop managers, you will pay for it in health, time, prosperity and legacy.