During the course of my life I’ve had my share of ups and downs, and still do, but I accept that most things that happen to me are the results of my own actions, or inaction. I’m the first person to say never place yourself into a “victim mentality” – the mindset that dictates when bad things happen to you, it’s someone else’s fault. A state of mind that keeps you weak and feeling helpless.
In other words, dis-empowered.
Sometimes though, there are “forces” against us. “Gatekeepers” that block us from what we’re striving for. These gatekeepers are the most common form of bully you’ll come across. In fact, they’re everywhere! At our jobs, in our school system, in law enforcement, working in government buildings, and even at the local Walmart.
Who is this mysterious "oppressor" that is right in front of your face? That oppressor is MIDDLE MANAGEMENT. It’s their job to protect the power structure above them by ensuring those below them are kept in-line, so to speak.
Perhaps you’re one of these gatekeepers yourself? Especially if you hold the title of Supervisor or Manager or Director. Your obligation (if you want to keep your job) is to make sure the company (the power structure) maintains its upstanding appearance while pacifying dissatisfied customers and/or clients.
Also involved with position of middle management is ensuring that employees below you are doing their job – which is to provide the products or services the company offers and do it in a way the customer will find pleasing. Today they call it a ‘Customer Experience’.
It's middle management’s position to shield upper management and the ownership from harmful arrows that may be shot at them. This includes protecting them from legal liability and ramifications, to shutting down any attempts that will waste upper management’s time.
It’s middle management that milks the car buyer for extra dollars. It's middle managements that will prevent a “nobody” from speaking directly to their bosses and/or owner. It’s middle management that will deny loans, refuse service, shoot down ideas and halt progress if they deem it necessary to protect the power structure they work within.
This is their place in The Game and most people who get into these positions will defend them. This means that, if necessary, they will oppress the common person to appease those higher up the pyramid than themselves.
We are directly held down by middle management.
While most people point a finger at the powerful, they’ll probably never encounter them. The people they do encounter make up layers and layers of middle management. And the reality is, upper management is usually more patient, more understanding and more willing to help than middle management is. They have more power partially because they have fewer people to answer to (among other reasons).
As a Player, we’re well aware of this and don’t take it personally. Despite how negative it may sound, there’s no other way for an organization (power structure) to function. There HAS TO BE those on top, those in the middle and those on bottom. The concept of everyone sharing equal power sounds good, but that’s like having a car full of people and everyone is in the passenger seat. No one wants to drive so the car is not going to make it anywhere. Why? Because no one is leading – no one has a set destination.
On the opposite side of that coin – if EVERYONE wants to lead, the car still won’t get anywhere if there’s disagreement about the destination. Such is The Game.
The next time you’re up against middle management and they can’t provide a satisfactory solution, you’ll have to push the UP-BUTTON and go over them or around them. Be a Player and don’t hate The Game – learn to understand it and work through it.
Consider yourself laced. Until next time.