Middle managers are the employees who have performed well enough to gain promotions through their tenure in the company. Aside from their competence, they have also proved their loyalty to the company by sticking with the system and not venturing out to other employers. They are usually at the prime of their lives in their business and family life, so their career takes the spotlight. They are extremely driven individuals who work hard for the company because they've already experienced the rewards of putting in quality work.
In the hierarchy of most businesses, the people on top don't really have much involvement in the day to day operations at the rank-and-file level. The people at the bottom of the rungs are the ones who do the work that is most relevant to consumers, but they have little or no say on the policies of the company. The middle managers' role, then, is to know how to bridge this gap.
Since the people at the higher ups aren't exactly in tune with the goings on the lower levels, the bosses usually depend on their supervisors and managers to ensure that they are getting quality information and intelligence reports regarding the progress of certain projects. The middle manager can also use his position to influence the business strategies of a company. Since the people above him trust him due to his greater knowledge of how things are getting run, he can authoritatively suggest certain changes that can be undertaken by the company. His or her words will probably carry a lot of weight and his ideas will be seriously considered should the people up at the top have a meeting to refocus efforts or fine tune operations.
Since middle managers are in a very strategic position, it is very important that the company can show them the value of being pro-active. No single person is better equipped with more jobs designed to observe and analyze the performance of the business unit as a whole. While the bosses are busy with bigger issues, such as finances, mergers, and other spheres outside of the integrity of the company, middle managers do all the micro-managing. They are the ones who are assigned to make the tough calls and protocols should emergencies and situations arise unexpectedly. How they handle these incidents can be the precedent on how future events will be managed.
The pool of middle managers is also a great testing ground for those who should be considered for higher positions - perhaps positions in the upper echelons of the company. Middle managers are persons who have already proven themselves to a certain extent and their leadership potential is slowly being realized as they work as supervisors and managers. The wisdom and experience that they gain through this phase of their career should be more than enough to give you a greater amount of confidence in their ability to make bigger decisions that would carry more weight in the future.
While some might think that middle management is usually a dead end, to those who stay pro-active and relevant to a company's thrusts and goals, being a middle manager is just the beginning of a more fulfilling career.