All these efforts are geared towards helping the middle manager avoid some of the worst pitfalls. Too many times, they develop a paralysis when they become unsure of what their role is in the department. Oftentimes, new and inexperienced middle managers can be likened to deer caught in headlights as they try to figure out what to do in a situation. They must develop a vision of the mission of their department that is consistent with that of upper command staff. Blurring the objectives of the mission to their respective groups only leads to confusion and process paralysis. Often this comes from becoming hard of hearing. While you would think this is sometimes a product of those freaking shoulder mikes we all had on our radios, it is more often a case of hearing only what we want to hear. This is something that is not necessarily just an affliction of middle management, but can be widespread throughout a department. However, at the middle management level it is a killer, because it reduces and filters the number of ideas that are considered, and gets in the way of producing results. It is imperative that we learn to check our egos and hear all the ideas from both sides to be effective as middle managers.
Middle managers have a truly unique role in the management of police departments. They hold a great responsibility for maintaining effective leadership and encouraging the growth and development of the people in their sections. Their effectiveness is a positive mark on the impact that the department will have in performing its mission to serve and protect their community.