These two Tweets made the value of middle managers to an organization click for me a few days ago:

Middle managers make the portion of the organizational hierarchy under them legible to their superiors. This involves two things:

  • Translating the state of the organization beneath them into a format legible to their superiors. E.g., if you work for the digital ads unit of the New York Times, translating the state of your unit into a few key metrics and a narrative that your boss and partner teams can understand.
  • Translating goals from above the organizational hierarchy into actions that the organization beneath them can take to achieve those goals. E.g. if your boss from the example above decides that the NYT should grow its revenue from digital ads by 10%; you validate that goal is realistic and figure out a plan to get there – using first-party data for ads targeting, for example.