Managers Who Matter MidLevel Management

first_imgDo Not Waste Your Most Valued Managerial Resources: Aspiring Middle ManagersMid-level managers and executives in all organizations have got a bad rap. They are typically the first to be cut when a company needs to trim its managerial layers in the name of “streamlining” operations (aka cost cutting). Rightly or wrongly, they are often singled out for being the cause of the bureaucratic desiccation of the company’s workforce. But they are also the hardest working bunch around.Mid-Level Management: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard PlaceMid level executives spend much of their time at work torn between trying to please the relentless strategic exhortation of the senior management team and at the same time, wrestling with the hands-on human resource and operational challenges of managing teams of enthusiastic but unorganized and inexperienced entry-level employees. Their work as team managers and project owners is always subject to the withering evaluation of higher ups, who typically have an unrealistic expectations of how projects are actually done (having done none of that work for years), and who have typically lost touch of new methodologies, operational challenges, and constraints their mid level executives have to deal with on a daily basis. As a result, senior management tend to forcefully push through drastic changes that can cause major disruptions to day-to-day businesses, adding more headaches to the poor managers under them. At the same time, these managers need to build and grow highly functional project teams from the raw, untested talents of university recruits or entry-level millennial-generation employees who can have lots of enthusiasm but can also be challenged with short attention spans. Middle-level managers are really on the forefront of the new managerial revolution, as companies are now having to deal with an increasingly virtual, more mobile, and more vocal workforce — a phenomenon even more pronounced at knowledge-based environments like technology companies and professional services firms. To be an effective team leader and project manager today, mid-level executives have to be in tune with these attitudinal changes and flexible with each individual employee’s development needs and ideal working style. At the same time, they also need to be able to impose a team-focused culture and a sense of focus and discipline that ultimately will bring the team together.Crucial Bridge Between High-Level Strategy and the Boots on the GroundMid-level managers form an essential line of defense for company’s culture, its employee retention, and its future growth. Being the only link between the management team — whose attention is understandably focused on strategic matters — and the actual work being done, either in product development, sales, marketing or customer services, it is the middies who the organization truly relies on to:Implement strategic changesPerpetuate its winning cultureIdentify early warnings of issues with customers, products or employee recruitment and retentionBeing the most internally visible “managers” at work, the middies also serve as the role model for entry level, front line employees. Their successes demonstrate a career advancement path to these employees, while their failures represent lessons to avoid and learn from. I can go on and on about how middle level managers are truly the organizational lifeblood of a growing organization, but I hope you are convinced they play an incredibly important role. It is crucial to nurture their ranks and grow their ability and preserve their effectiveness if you want your company to be scalable and successful for a long time.  AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThislast_img read more

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