The term “middleman” usually conjures up a negative image — someone who creates costs and slows things down. The truth is almost the opposite: Middlemen usually can make things happen more efficiently than those who specialize in other job functions. Middle managers can learn from middlemen in three ways:
- Look for gaps between the silos. People who can bridge the “structural holes” in organizations, who understand the needs and resources of different teams, can bridge cultural divides.
- Keep both sides honest. The middleman’s power comes from a unique vantage point that can keep one or both sides accountable for delivering on the end product.
- Be a single point of contact for your team. Middlemen can help with information overload, filtering out the noise and delivering crucial data.