Middle Manager, RIP?

More than five years ago, Marcus Buckingham proclaimed that middle managers were the most important people in your company. Why? “The single most important determinant of individual performance is a person’s relationship with his or her immediate manager.” Not the CEO.

So I was intrigued to see a recent Human Resource Executive article about the impending death of the middle manager. Some research done by Accenture found that not only are middle managers growing increasingly dissatisfied with their organizations, more than 25% of them are looking for new jobs.

This got me thinking about turnover. As the piece states, turnover is inevitable. But while turnover at the top (CEO See-Ya!, anybody?) and at the bottom might actually be healthy for a company, disruption in the middle could be quite dangerous.

What do you think? Who’s more expendable: People at the entry level? Senior management? Or team leaders and other middle managers?