If management were like a parts of a car upper management would be the engine, it’s flashy and get’s most of the notoriety. The horsepower, the 0 – 60 speed – engines get all the attention; but in reality the transmission make the vehicle go. If upper management is the engine, middle management is the transmission. It has never been harder to be a middle manager and we need great middle management now, more than ever.
The Needed & Evolving Role of Middle Management:
The Constant Challenge
It is the best and most challenging job available; if you want to have maximum impact, be a middle manager. Doing so will require that you see dysfunction as a part of your day to day. Successful middle managers will then in turn see chaos as there reason for being and not become a victim of it – to be success you must embrace the chaotic state and learn to operate in it.
Have the Talk No One Wants to Have
Great managers do what others don’t or won’t. How fast and smoothly their teams runs depends on deliberate and proactive choices you make each day, many times a day. Great managers approach and blast away barriers. They have conversations others put off, management is a social act. Conversations are your currency to generate excellence and bring out the best in others. Erode relationships, erode results. We all no there are times when things are so chaotic and stressful that many avoid addressing the manner in the hopes that it will work itself out or in some manner they believe by putting it off for to another day it will be a better day to talk about said situation.
Understanding Time & Actions
Time is precious and expensive. Every conversation, every meeting, and every email has the potential to engage, excite, enliven, and explain. This should be an invitation to great conversations. One key to always remember is to no let your busy work get in the way of truly important tasks.
Quality middle managers are essential…
Corporate leaders spend a lot of time worrying about the impact of their strategy. But they overlook the impact of the people who make the thousands of small, critical choices that truly make the difference between success and failure. We need the work middle managers provide the fighting at the core of where processes, people, and plans intersect and sometimes collide all the while.