The In-Betweens

While conducting an interview for an open position I asked the candidate about the role she played in the job where she was currently working.  It seemed that while she was presently working part-time, what was described sounded more like a management role.  When I asked about this she replied that she was not a manager.  She was an in-between, someone that is neither a part-time person nor a manager, but someone in-between.

I had to pause and reflect upon what was said.  It struck me that an in-between was a person that voluntarily took on a bigger role and got things done.  In old fashion terminology that would be a person that greased the wheels and made things work.  To a great degree, we are all in-betweens.  We all have someone that is above us.  Someone for whom we need to get things done.  Often we go above what is asked because getting things to work makes our life easier and we accomplish more than is expected of us.

I imagine we don’t see ourselves that way.  We play strong roles, we are innovative.  We create; we execute, and we contribute innovation that ripples up to a higher level.  Set aside the titles of leadership, mentoring, influencer or guides, the in-betweens transform ideas, dreams and change into action.  They get it done and they make things happen.

Point Of View

The in-betweens are the silent and often forgotten people.  Without them, we would not get as much done.  They grease the wheels so that what they do they do quietly.  Perhaps we should look more closely at who and how things get done.  Maybe, we should find a way to recognize them and bring them out of the shadows to shine a light on the people in-between.  Yet, if you were at the interview you would believe they liked to be in the shadows and embrace the quiet way they work.

That interview answer “I am an in-between” opened my eyes to something almost unseen.  While we recognize individuals, promote and develop them, I have never heard anyone put a title to the silent ones that make a company successful.  There was almost a sense of pride, a sense of ownership in the role.  She defined what she did as part of a group.  In a way, I think many of us are part of that group.  We do what we do quietly and without expectation of reward.


Larry Tyler
Larry Tyler
I have 40 years of Retail Management experience. I am the person they send in to fix things. Call it a Store Focus Specialist, a Smoke Jumper, an Outlaw. I can work within the system or go outside the box when needed. I love walking into chaos and bringing order. I am not a key word person and my education came from mentors not schools. I believe that everything that we do starts with hiring the right people. Driving sales, merchandising, customer service and metrics are just keywords until you hire the right people. My top talents are Recruiting, hiring, training, associate development, and going into a focus store and turning it around. Most importantly I believe in people and that if you teach them, develop them and believe in them they will do far more than they thought possible.


  1. Some leaders are invisible and like it that way. Thank you for recognizing their desire to sometimes stay in the shadows. Many times they have found what makes them happy and have achieved the level of balance that can continue to make them happy. As the Beatles would say “Let It Be”

  2. Sometimes it’s just the experience gained by those who have a greater ambition to immerse themselves into the process for the sake of learning. Or like auditing a collage class because you cant afford to take it and you realize you won’t receive a grade. However gaining the knowledge from the course is your primary goal. Betweener

  3. I read this story wanting to shout, Yes! That’s exactly right. The woman being interviewed was not me, but it could have been. I am not a manager or a leader. I’m a doer and much prefer the view from behind the scenes. Joy for me is making sure things get done. Doers don’t get credit but they get satisfaction and contentment.

  4. Giving due recognition to the silent warriors is an art-form you have mastered, Dear Larry!

    I enjoyed every word of this thought provoking article so artistically presented by the master story-teller viz. you, my Dear Friend.

  5. It seems you were the perfect interviewer for her to say this to. You didn’t judge it or dismiss it as lacking clear credentials. I love the thoughtful way you acknowledged it, even by writing an article to make it more visible. You’ve connected me to the heart of this woman you were interviewing, even without a name. I could feel her quiet pride in supporting her company.