Is middle management a trap?


Middle managers make more money than workers and potentially have changed social class. They may be fighting to rise even higher in the ranks. Those that understand where their priorities should be and focus on the important, not the latest and loudest, gain an unfair advantage in today’s always-on world. The ability to ignore unimportant distractions and to distinguish between what is important and what is not a talent, it is a skill you can learn and develop. It’s a skill you need to master if you want to get to the top of your organization. We often think of power in organizations as either something you have (as a leader) or something you don’t (as a follower). But middle managers must constantly oscillate between situations in which they have either low or high power. This can be cognitively and emotionally exhausting. By better understanding how this power oscillation plays out, both middle managers and executives can find ways to ease the burden. These strategies include simplifying reporting structures and creating “transition scripts” to aid in communication.

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