Middle management is a hard place to be.
You have to manage up to a senior manager who expects you to handle projects and situations so they can simply give it the green light – but the senior manager USUALLY still has the final say.
At the same time, the middle manager is trying to manage down to his/her team, keeping things moving and leading effectively – but those team members also know that the senior manager has the final say! This can all lead to a lack of respect by team members, and oversight by the senior manager.
This Entrepreneur article suggests that middle managers are often set up to fail, especially when their senior manager isn’t leading effectively. It also calls out 4 ways to improve the effectiveness of middle management:
- Improve training.
- Relieve stress.
- Provide feedback.
- Better role models in senior leadership.
Read the whole article for better insight into this situation. If you are a senior manager, consider the position your middle managers are in and the environment you create. Likewise, if you report to a middle manager, try to understand the challenges they face daily and identify how you can find solutions.
And if you are a middle manager, hand in there!