Spare a thought for the poor middle manager.
Busted his/her guts for years in Word and Excel to attain a privileged position above the worker bees, now armed to the teeth with data and an inflated sense of influence, plus the approved authority to boss people around. It’s no surprise they’re instilled with an unrelenting confidence in the inevitability of their success…
If only it was real! Suddenly their game changed. And changed again the next day. Then changed some more and then started changing really really fast until a wall hit.
Now that the world has gone social, the middle manager is running out of jargon faster than time. Touching base for scrum-team stand-ups to stay on pitch in that space… Sending an MIA to the mindfulness love-in today, wrestling back-to-back meetings before the blue sky innovation board paper is due for review. Not to mention the annual engagement pulse-check, and the fourteen 360′s, the online mandatory OH&S training all due last Tuesday.
Management Overwhelm is a common and growing concern for the middle manager type and its troubling. On the one hand its like an addictive aphrodisiac satisfying managers with a false sense of belonging, void from life and it keeps them ticking over burning oil, busy-busy-busy and disconnected from fresh air. On the other, the exponentially widening gap to any semblance of professional career upside is crushing hope for a raise let alone that lucrative promotion.
Once leading (now clueless) corporations are laying off tens of thousands – even in Tech! – and with looming pink slip redundancies, impending mortgage in-service-ability, middle managers are constantly reminded that their life’s purpose is futilised at the expense of others and they have little to believe in, other than self preservation at any expense because the next Jubilee-GFC is only a breeze away.
And we wonder why employee engagement is plummeting in most work places…
Short of applying for an AA platinum card (not the airline), the knowledge that management overwhelm is a slow and silent killer by virtue of a long term spiritual cardio vascular disease is a recipe not worthy of practising for anyone’s Masterchef ambitions.
Dear Middle Manager, find inspiration and something to ‘core’ believe in. AirBnB, Uber and Cell411 have made it abundantly clear now that innovation for a better future is just not going to happen by fitting in and marginally tinkering, is a simply a ludicrous proposition.
You serve no-one by playing small…