Middle Management 101 – Zen in the Art of Middle Management

This website presents a methodology of “events and steps” that you need to develop, adopt and implement to become a better and happier middle manager and improve your team’s contribution and their overall happiness. This website will offer you hundreds of practical ideas, tips, techniques and processes presented in a structured methodology to help transform managers that are “stuck in the middle” to be a happier, more effective leader working with a truly empowered them that really enjoys what they do!   

Step 1 - Recruiting the Best Talent for Your Team – If you don’t start finding better talent for your team nothing gets better! You must find the best talent possible consistently to make your team better. I will cover these topics in upcoming postings:

  • Job Success Talents
  • The Job Description
  • Ask Your Team For Help!
  • Recruiting Is a PROCESS Not an EVENT
    • Networking
    • College and Trade School Recruiting
    • Co-op Programs
  •  Matchmaker, Matchmaker Make Me A Match!

Step 2 - Empowering Your Team - Once you find the best possible talent you need to empower them to get the most for your team. I will cover these topics in upcoming postings:

  • The One-on-One Meeting
  • Team Building
  • Let Them Fail
  • Tell Them What You Want to Achieve, But Not How
  • Trust Them
  • It’s the Work That Motivates Them

Step 3 - Rewarding Your Team – Once you have empowered your team you need to understand how to keep them. I will cover these topics in upcoming postings:

  • The Performance Review
    • The Performance Review Form
    • The Summary of Accomplishments
    • Do “Drafts” of the Performance Review Form
    • The Performance Review Meeting
    • Define the Goals for the Next Review Period
    • Performance Review Agreements
  • Keep Performance and Salary Separate!!
  • Training
  • Manage By Walking Around
  • Thank Them!!!
  • Coaching
  • Flex Time and Flex Benefits
  • Reward Them

Step 4 - Communication Is Key to Everything - You’ve found talent for your team and you’ve started empowering and rewarding them, now what? I will cover these topics in upcoming postings:

  • Meetings
  • The Rumor Round-Up Agenda Item
  • The Walk-Thru Session
  • Listen First and Watch What You Say
  • Internal Communications
  • External Communications
  • Reports for Your “Clients”
  • Tell Them What You Heard Them Tell You

Step 5 - Managing Projects - You and your Teamers must also manage your projects well, that is getting from “Point A” to “Point B” and really knowing where you are every step along the way. I will cover these topics in upcoming postings:

  • “Visualize” What You Want to Build or Do
  • The Life Cycle
  • Monitor Planned Versus Actual
  • Timekeeping
  • Move, Monitor and Modify
  • Adding Staff Won’t Give You the Results You Want
  • Getting More Done With Less – It Can Be Done!
  • Technology Stuff

Step 6 - Quality - “To Be, or Not to Be?” – I feel that quality is the most misunderstood “buzzword” ever in the world of work (Productivity would be in second place, just in case you might be wondering). I will cover these topics in the upcoming postings:

  • What is Quality?
  • Tell Me If You Measure Up – This Is NOT Easy!
  • How to Improve Your Quality
  • The Post-Mortem Meeting
  • How to “Prove” Quality? Ask Your “Clients!”
  • Have Patience; They’ve Never Done This
  • Most Quality Programs Are Started by Middles

Step 7 - Key Core Values to Display Daily – These are your daily Ten Commandments to live by while you are at work. I will cover these key core values that I suggest you adopt and display daily in all that you say, do and think in upcoming postings.

  • Do unto Others
  • Working in the “Flow” – The Only Way To Go!
  • The “Client” Is Always First
  • Run It Like Your Own Business
  • Provide Vision, Direction and Leadership Daily
  • Don’t Worship Control Over Others or Technology
  • Always Move Quickly
  • Always Look Them in the Eye with Total Honesty
  • Your Attitude
  • Friends and Family

Step 8 - Things NOT to Worry About – I will provide some ideas on things that I seriously suggest you never worry about or spend time on since you really can’t do anything about them in upcoming postings.

  • What You Can’t Control
  • Money and Budget
  • Your Senior’s Attitudes
  • Egos
  • Office Politics, Rumors and Gossip
  • The FUD Factor
  • Fear of Failure
  • Resources Wars

 “It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.”

 - Wendell Berry