While the subject of ridicule, stereotypes and often the first to get the chop during corporate cutbacks, the middle manager is a defining beacon of the modern world. They are forced to give everything in an environment often working hard to make them obsolete; it’s no surprise they are often hailed as the backbone of any corporation.
But, let’s be honest, there’s hardly any books out there championing for their success. That’s what makes ‘The Adam Smith Curse’, by Jacques Poma, so monumental and profound.
Middle level manager you are the soul and memory of large corporations but also their cannon fodder, expected to fall into line and follow. You play in a game in which you are cursed. The laws of economy are such that: “the competition of the labourers and the interest of the masters would soon reduce you to this lowest rate which is consistent with common humanity. “ (Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations). China out priced manufacturing workers, India is actively working on off-shoring Anglo-Saxon lawyers. Finance may tomorrow move to Frankfurt. Robots will make your surgeon and your taxi driver redundant. With technology the demand for your skills dwindles, workers in your art are fungible, or in other words exchangeable and substitutable.
An uncle of my grand-father living in the 19th century used to name all his successive maids Maria, so not to have to remember their actual name. Just employees, you know. The curse of Adam Smith is upon you. “Unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. [Matthew 25, 29] ” This is not from the manifesto of the British Labour party but from the gospel. In.this economy winner take all, This book is about survival, look for a life of your own, get out of the herd, life is fun outside, this starts with opening your eyes. We are glued in received wisdom. People are constantly trying to influence us, most often for their own benefit. Look at the world you live in and make your own judgement. Get a life of your own, you have nothing to lose but your chains!
“There’s endless books out there for general managers that empower them to be more successful, gain greater loyalty from their employees and ultimately line their pockets with more cash – but nothing really exists for middle managers,” explains Poma. “We forget that most middle managers are highly-qualified individuals who work harder, longer and actually have more influence than their executive team superiors. At last – a survival guide just for them!”
Continuing, “If they want to thrive in a world where technology is light-years ahead of its creators and corporate mergers are happening by the second, then this is a must-read.”