THE MIDDLE MANAGER AS A POWERFUL RESOURCE FOR EXECUTING RESULTS
Middle management positions are responsible leadership posts typically two to seven tiers below the president. According to Haneberg, there are two types of middle managers: those who get the work done but never think beyond short-term goals, and High-impact middle managers. High-impact middle managers see the big picture and understand how to contribute to the organization’s biggest endeavors. Haneberg explains that these types of employees know how to manage operational practices and execute tactical goals to support strategic initiatives. Consequently, their value to their company elevates them from an intermediary manager to a key player.
High-impact middle managers focus on significant areas of business, including:
* Discovering paradigms that best serve execution and results.
* Fostering collaboration to improve results and efficiency.
* Determining team performance.
* Goal setting for peak performance.
* Dealing with daily obstacles to results.
* Removing factors that limit throughput.
* Time management.
* Process alignment techniques.
* Performance management techniques.
* Skills for coaching others.
* Using the High-Impact Middle Management System to improve results.
* Honing middle management skills to build their careers.
The Guiding Principles of the High-Impact Middle Management System
Haneberg designed the High-Impact Middle Management System with eight basic principles in mind. These principles speak to what is unique about middle management and how high-impact middle managers can produce great results.
Principle 1:Being a Middle Manager Is Exciting. Middle managers are close to the action that top executives rarely get to see. Because middle managers have a finger on the pulse of the company, they hold a unique perspective and can help shape the future strategy and direction of the organization.
Principle 2:Middle Management Is a Craft. It takes practice and time for managers to develop a style that is effective and unique. Along the way, they must hone their craft via mentoring, training, and coaching.
Principle 3:Great Managers Do What Others Don’t or Won’t. Great managers complete tasks that are undesirable, tiring, mundane, or even frightening because they are necessary and time sensitive.
Principle 4:Beliefs Determine Behavior. Breakthroughs in the workplace occur when beliefs about job responsibilities and expectations align with efforts to achieve desired outcomes.
Principle 5:Relationships Influence Results. Great managers develop and maintain positive relationships with others and garner the cooperation and support they need to produce ideal results.
Principle 6:Managerial Strengths and Weaknesses Are Known. Because managers’ strengths and weaknesses are inevitably displayed in the workplace, they should take an interest in and deal with character development needs. Managers should never be the last to know if one of their personality traits irritates their co-workers or derails the work. Those who acknowledge areas where they need to improve will enjoy more support and respect from others than will those who do not.
Principle 7:Great Middle Management Can Be Learned, but One Must “Get It.” Great middle management is a craft that managers can learn with training and guidance. Skilled middle managers are cultivated, not born.
Principle 8:Middle Managers Exist to Make Things Happen. Middle managers are not in the workplace simply to oversee what is going to occur on its own. They play a vital role in improving the business and should seek out opportunities to make an impact.
High-impact middle managers generate results by developing results-oriented responses (RORs): behaviors and enablers that have an immediate effect on work. RORs can help managers focus their time and energy where it will yield the highest benefits. Results-oriented responses include:
* Being an owner versus being a custodian.
* Being active versus being passive.
* Generating new approaches versus resorting to the status quo.
* Keeping promises versus breaking promises.
* Influencing through enrollment versus influencing through subtle coercion.
* Being service oriented versus expecting to be served.
* Being coachable versus being defensive.
* Practicing quality dialogue versus using dialogue without purpose.