Take charge advice for work and play appearing randomly on your favorite blog…
Being the middle manager sucks. I have tons of my own work, and some work of others that I’m supposed to review. And then, of course, responsibility for all of the work to the managers above me.
Today I learned that one of my co-workers — whose work I reviewed — made an error. Not a huge error, just an error in calculating an expense which can be easily fixed on the next bill. But an error nonetheless. The problem is, even though I reviewed all of the paperwork, I didn’t catch the error before the paperwork was actually filed. The only way I could have caught the error would have been to do all of the math myself — at which point, I may as well have prepared the paperwork myself.
Now, of course, my manager is upset with me because the paperwork was filed with an error. What is the appropriate way to handle? Obviously, I am going to take care of fixing the error — but I mean, how do I handle on the personnel side? Do I let my co-worker know about the error? Do I let him/her know that the partner is upset? What do I tell my manager? Do I shoulder all of the blame? And how do I prevent this going forward? Can I? (Or is my role as middle manager just to do everything myself?)
— Stuck in the middle
I agree. Middle management is a rough place to be. The people that do it well, though, are the ones that the higher ups trust to get the job done and the ones junior resources want to work for because you challenge them to get the best effort from them. Think about it. Your favorite bosses are not the ones that let you sit at your desk all day checking Facebook. They are the ones that give you opportunities and push to see your best work.
That said, in your particular case, take all blame for the error with your management. They will know that it is not your fault, but will respect that you are stepping up to own it.
To the junior resource, point out error, get pissy, make sure they know you got in trouble. And let them know that you covered for them. Don’t let them know what your management said/implied. Your job is to provide that cover. Their job is to make sure you don’t have to cover very often.
My SO surprised me with a big Valentines day present after we said we weren’t going to do anything. How do I repay them?
-Love the flowers! And Sparkles! And Dinner!
Yay for you! You have a thoughtful and generous mate. I say you have 2 choices for repayment: 1–be thoughtful and generous every day in your relationship or 2–laser tag. Everyone loves a trip to laser tag.
Have a question about work or play? Email email@example.com
(yes that email address actually works, and yes, I actually answer questions from there)
We are --
We work hard; we play hard too.
And we drive our husbands crazy --
We can't all be trophy wives.