Everyone wants to be a CEO or founder of a company.
Within the world of management, everyone looks for references to follow the CEOs of companies, those great entrepreneurs who, from a garage, came to dominate the Nasdaq.
Jobs, Musk, Zuckerberg…
We like to read about them, emulate them, think we can reach them…
But rarely do we stop to think about the importance of middle-level positions, a “second-level” management that makes it possible for companies to operate on a day-to-day basis, grow, become bigger, more professional, more efficient…
My concept about this middle manager position is, mainly, a professional responsible for a specific department in a corporation.
I like to see departments as independent micro-businesses, capable of generating added value by themselves, interacting with other departments to develop the service or final product the company provides.
What’s the middle manager’s profile?
A middle manager position must have many skills that are not easy to possess:
- Leadership. It has to be a leader who can drive his department towards the company’s goals.
- Communication. It has to be someone with excellent communication skills to convey messages clearly, both inside and outside their department.
- Organization. It has to be an organized person who can identify each project’s priorities, with the capacity to generate all the operative tasks necessary to reach significant objectives.
- Proactivity. It has to be someone proactive who proposes improvements, ideas, or solutions for the organization to move forward together.
- Motivation. They have to be able to motivate their teams at all times. To communicate all of them why what they do is so important, why everything they do has a meaning, a justification, a sense.
Why middle manager’s position is so difficult?
I’ve always admired these positions.
- They’re the ones that nobody sees, but they’re always there.
- Their position is quite complicated because they’re between top managers or boards and the company’s people.
- They have to satisfy both sides. That’s not easy in life.
- They need to communicate information from top to bottom and vice versa correctly. Information should flow smoothly. It’s their responsibility.
- They’re like that defense that nobody notices until he misses and the opposing team scores a goal.
- They’re alone, misunderstood.
- Their work never stays on the paper, where everything works. Their work must be translated into tasks, and they’re always done.
- They’re a powerful engine, a perfectly well-oiled machine that makes companies move forward at a solid pace.
We usually only pay attention to heroes. Those that capture our attention from the first minute.
Below those heroes, there are always those who make those heroes shine.
There is only one laurel wreath, but I do think middle managers deserve, at least, one each one of them.
They’re essential components inside companies and, by extension, our society.
A company with good middle managers positions is very likely to succeed, just as, if it does not, the probability of failure increases exponentially.
Middle managers positions allow top managers to think deeper about medium-long term goals and strategies. A company without such goals cannot move forward in time either.
If you don’t think about the medium-long term, the day-to-day life ends up consuming the company’s improvement options, deteriorating its progress, and being overtaken by competitors.
The perfect connection between medium-long term strategies and daily tasks is where success lies. Middle managers make it possible.