Attributes of a Middle Manager (MM) a.k.a Director

  • Honesty and Integrity: MM is a role model for efficient his organization and sets the tone of the organization. The organization is as good as a leader and he will lose his command and respect without these values.
  • Understanding of people: MM is a people’s manager. His primary responsibility is to efficiently utilize his resources and delegate the authority and responsibility. He is as good as his team, and if does not have a support from his team, he will fail.
  • Understanding of project and program technology: MM is an interface to other departments in negotiating resources and milestones. If he does not understand the project and program, he will put his team under a lot of stress and end with no support from them.
  • Alertness and quickness: MM shall always be alert and agile. His agility again sets the tone in the organization and information flows freely back and forth. If MM does not respond to emails for days, then eventually his team will stop depending on him
  • Versatility: MM plays different roles at different situations from sales, to HR, to marketing, etc. and it is important that he plays all these roles.
  • Energy and toughness: MM sets the tone of his organization. He is has to be enthusiastic and transferring high energy to his team. MM also needs to make right and tough decisions and not just correct decisions.
  • Decision-making ability: MM has to make decisions quickly with limited information. His delaying in process with have a dominos effect in the entire organization
  • Ability to evaluate risk and uncertainty: Since MM delegates most of the tasks to different project groups and has the overall delivery responsibility, it is important that he constantly evaluates the risks involved and things that might halt the programs.
  • MM is expected to be accountable and take ownership: The first level managers are only responsible for the projects or tasks given to them. The execs are responsible for the organizational goals. It is the MM’s responsibility to bridge the gap and map them.
  • MM are expected to make a positive contribution to the business: MM has access to both the organizational strategic goals and overall program scorecard. He can contribute more by mapping the two and enabling a proper communication channel
  • MM needs to get results: MM is measured on the results and not on the process. Process is only the path he takes to achieve the ultimate goal.
  • Good managers are responsive to others’ ideas and concerns: It is very important to get the feedback, suggestions, ideas, etc. from the front end employees who are either performing the task or facing the customers. Ultimately any strategic move has to be implemented by them.
  • Gossip or badmouth others: MM sets the tone of the organization. If MM starts badmouthing his team members or others, the whole team would do the same. That brings down the morale and trust in the team
  • Obstruct or otherwise subtly sabotage changes: MM should be considered as a leader who is open to innovation. If he starts obstructing every idea, that again brings down the morale of the team. His team members will stop going to him for any opinion or advice.
  • Allow differences in style or personality to get in the way of working productively with a peer or employee: Each manager has a different style MM should be considerate of other’s style of working. If the personal agenda overtakes the objective then the task will only head downhill.
  • Interfere or take over a project or task that one of your employees owns: MM should set the controls and systems and audit periodically if it’s working. He should focus more on result than micromanagement.
  • Let work pile or become disorganized: If MM becomes a roadblock because of lethargy, his team will find ways to avoid him for consulting, advice and decisions. MM should lead by example by being agile and setting the priorities right.
  • Play favorites or make business decisions based on friendship: A biased manager will never get complete support from his entire team. Even the person who is MM’s favorite might not get full support from his team and peers. MM should be objective in decision making.
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