Mid-level managers are the interface between multiple teams and the higher management. A mid-manager has the responsibilities of a top mid-manager, but not his levels of authorization. It is a tricky place to be in.
In the course of this tutorial, you will gradually understand why a good mid-manager should be a good team leader first. To become a true leader, one needs to hone his skills from an initial stage till he has a good hold over the fundamentals of management. Leaders possess the potential to motivate others, and increase the willpower in others to undertake certain objectives.
A good mid-manager should have the ability to extract the best potential buried within others; the same goes for a great leader as well. In the course of time and with proper guidance, midmanagers will not only wield skills of a great leader, but other intellectual properties as well.
A good mid-manager must possess the following qualities −
It is essential for a mid-manager to have a good command over the basic principles of management.
Communication skills are very important in not only motivating their team, but also in training them, planning assignments, hiring resources, coaching new employees and counseling older ones.
A good mid-level manager needs to reflect core ethical values that inspire the minds of others, and earns him respect from their subordinates, colleagues, and clients.
Handling dual responsibilities of a mid-level manager and a leader can be overwhelming. After all, it involves working in two roles at the same time −
As a team player, collaborating with the management team.
As the team leader, constantly sharpening skills of the mid-managers’ team and improving productivity in long run.
Acting as a mid-manager, it is important to be a team player in a project which involves constant conversation within the teammates about the scope of operation. A mid-level manager has to ensure that proper training has been given to the team, so that they can take the responsibility for the smooth functioning of the customer's operations.
A team is defined as “a certain group of people having specific skill-sets working together to achieve a common goal or target”. The members of a team should have trust on each other’s abilities and respect towards one another.
From a very tender age, many of us might have been very familiar to the term “team”. We have been divided into houses in schools during parades, into teams on playgrounds, within our families (adults, children) or among friends. Irrespective of the nature of the selection, midmanagers will always find that members of a team always share some common traits and characteristics.
Similarly, a mid-manager is responsible to study individual members of his team and put them in such job profiles that helps him get good coordination and synchronization among different members of a team. Pooling resources based on their temperament and abilities is the most important job of a mid-level manager.
Depending on the process his teams are working in and based on the levels of interpersonal engagement of his teammates, a mid-level manager needs to manage two teams, which are −
The Relationship Team is responsible for the smooth functioning of an organization. This team is based on proper scheduling and constant efforts to find out innovative and effective ways for improvement. A Relationship Team doesn’t operate within a specific time table. In fact, it is a team working on a long-term basis for continuous improvement of the organization, which is a never-ending process.
Transactional Teams work on projects that have a well-defined and pre-decided beginning and ending point. These projects can be easily identified and have clear objectives. In contrast to a Relationship Team, which has a more holistic approach to work, these teams have a certain project, which once completed, may result in dispersal of the team members. The time associated with these teams are often short term in nature.
A mid-level manager delivers results by collectively leading and guiding teams irrespective of their size. In such cases, it is crucial to first have a good understanding of the objectives and the resources of the teams. Be it a Relationship Team or a Transactional Team, the job of a midlevel manager is to lead the individuals towards improvement in their performance and productivity.
From the clients’ point of view, they might perceive a mid-level manager to be a part of two teams. The Mid-level managers take dual responsibilities of harnessing talent and managing operations at the same time. They also report to higher authorities and suggest changes to the working model depending on the environment.
A question that has for a long time invited innumerable rounds of discussions and has perplexed many of the researchers and experts is – “What does the idea of perfect professional-personal balance in the life of a manager look like?”. People have a mental image of managers working for the most number of hours in a week, or even on weekends and so on, and truth be told, many such managers exist. However, spending more hours on work does not necessarily make a manager productive.
An efficient manager knows how to balance his personal and personal life by dividing his life into sets of priorities and coming out with a priority list that starts from the most important ones and ends with those priorities that can almost be ignored. Generally, this priority list is arranged in a chronological order.
Again, a single priority list cannot be generalized and presented for all managers as all of them work under different circumstances and scenarios. Excellent leaders value both their personal as well as their personal lives. So, the mid-level managers should find out a sweet spot of balance between professional and personal life and stay accustomed to it. At same time, mid-level managers should always keep in mind that their subordinates also face the same dilemma between their personal and professional lives and they should acknowledge that as well.