I’m not sold on the pitch of this piece by Aki Ito—that middle managers need to be “saved”—but I do think there are two good lessons in here: first, the old adage that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers, also works in reverse—a good manager will keep someone around (and doing good work) even if they are frustrated with the larger organization. Second, there’s a discourse that returns every few seasons in which management is talked about as if it were dead weight, as not the “real” work. In addition to just being wrong, that discourse serves to deter people from seeking management roles, leaving management to be filled by those with fewer skills and even less support. I won’t argue that some organizations don’t have too many layers of hierarchy (plenty of them do) or that middle management isn’t often a fraught and problematic role (I’ve been there, and it absolutely can be). But the act of demeaning management is a self-fulfilling prophecy: commit it and you will receive exactly the bad managers you deserve.