Middle managers are closely involved with "front-line" operations and employees every day, and to be effective, they must be good leaders. Experts agree that leadership is the single most critical factor in success or failure.

Recent research provides insight that may help the producer to better understand the behavioral characteristics of top-performing middle managers (supervisors). The results indicate six major concepts that characterize successful middle managers in the concrete production industry. The concepts include the following:

  • Promotions require experience.
  • Quality managers know the behavioral balancing act.
  • The optimum mix of managerial attributes yields success.
  • Balancing respect with power is a full-time job.
  • A good work ethic produces longer tenure.
  • Encouraging managers will take your company far.

The article includes the experience of one successful middle manager, Dave Zignego of West Allis, Wis.-based Zignego Ready Mix.