Managing from the Middle – A Journey or a Final Destination? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Managing from the Middle – A Journey or a Final Destination?

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  1. Managing from the Middle – A Journey or a Final Destination? Thad Long Dave Hollinger Bowling Green State University

  2. Learning Objectives • Learn the components of 360-degree leadership • Learn how to lead effectively from the middle of your own organization • Learn how to determine what level of management might be a good fit for you in the future

  3. Outline • Defining “middle management” • Middle management considerations • Myths about middle managers • Challenges facing middle managers • Define and apply 360-degree leadership • Finding your role in management

  4. Rec Sports Any manager besides the director! Management vs Leadership Managers work w/ processes Leaders work w/ people What is a Middle Manager?

  5. Middle Management Skills • Conceptual: “big picture” • Technical: operations-specific • Human/Personal: communication and leadership

  6. Why Study Middle Management? • PTI’s “Psychic Hotline” is unreliable • Not everyone wants to be a director! • Many layers of “middle” • Practice 360-degree leadership

  7. Myths of Middle Management • I can’t lead if I’m not at the top • My influence with others is directly related to my title? • When I get to the top, then I’ll learn to lead • I’ll have time to learn about leadership when I’m placed in a position of leadership? • If I were at the top, then people would follow me • People automatically follow the person in charge? “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare” –John Wooden (360 Degree Leader)

  8. Myths of Middle Management • I can’t reach my potential if I’m not the top leader • There is no room for growth in my current position? • If I can’t get to the top, then I won’t try to lead • Only those in top leadership positions really need to know how to lead? “The true measure of leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less” (360 Degree Leader)

  9. Challenges of Middle Managers • Pressure of being caught in the middle • Working for ineffective leaders • Wearing too many hats • Lack of recognition • Enthusiastically following someone else’s vision “Good leaders rarely think in terms of boundaries; instead, they think in terms of opportunities” (360 Degree Leader)

  10. 360-Degree Leadership • Lead Up • Lead Across • Lead Down “Ninety-nine percent of all leadership occurs not from the top but from the middle of an organization” (360 Degree Leader)

  11. Leading Up • Lead yourself first • Manage your priorities • 80% where you are strongest • 15% where you are learning • 5% in other necessary areas “Nothing will make a better impression on your leader than your ability to manage yourself” (360 Degree Leader)

  12. Leading Up • Lighten your leader’s load • Provide solutions when voicing problems • Do you pour water or gas on fires? Willie Mays said, “It isn’t hard to be good from time to time in sports. What’s tough is being good every day.” “When you are good every day, you do the first important step in lifting your leader’s load—you prevent him/her from having to lift yours.” (360 Degree Leader)

  13. Leading Up • Get to know your leader • Know your leader’s priorities • Earn your leader’s trust • Be willing to do what others won’t • Perform tasks that aren’t part of your job “The goal is more important than the role” (360 Degree Leader)

  14. Leading Up • Know when to push forward • Great problems or great opportunities • Know when to back off • “the atmosphere says ‘no’” “A great idea at the wrong time will be received just the same as a bad idea.” (360 Degree Leader)

  15. Leading Up • “Go-to” players produce when: • The pressure is on • The momentum is low • The load is heavy • The leader is absent “Go-to players are the people who find a way to make things happen no matter what” (360 Degree Leader)

  16. Leading Up • Avoid “destination disease” • Continue personal development/growth • Competence > Credibility > Influence “If what you did yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today” – Elbert Hubbard (360 Degree Leader)

  17. Leading Down • “Walk the Halls” and build relationships • Connect with people at their speed • Higher (Leader)=Faster • Lower (Subordinate)=Slower • View employees not as they are, but as what they can be… • Connect with employees at their work site “Strange as it sounds, great leaders gain authority by giving it away” (360 Degree Leader)

  18. Leading Down • Develop each employee as an individual • Develop vs. Equip • Place people in their strength zones • Give them the right job • If you could be doing anything within the organization, what would it be? “The number one reason people don’t like their jobs is that they are not working in the area of their strengths” (360 Degree Leader)

  19. Leading Down • Model the behavior you desire • Your investment determines the return • Your character determines the trust • Your work ethic determines the productivity “Trust has to earned, and it usually only comes when you are tested. When it comes to trust, the only passing grade is 100%” (360 Degree Leader)

  20. Leading Down • Transfer the top leader’s vision • Requires clarity (paint the picture) • Challenge brings different results (fire or fry) • Recognize and Reward results • Praise privately and publicly • “Catch” your employees doing something right “Be careful what you reward, because whatever gets rewarded gets done” (360 Degree Leader)

  21. Leading Across • Foster solid relationships • Lou Holtz’s 3 issues: • Trust • Commitment • Caring “Leading is not a one-time event; it’s an ongoing process that takes time—especially with peers” (360 Degree Leader)

  22. Leading Across • Avoid gossip and office politics • Two paths to advancement; • Doing the work (production) • Working an angle (politics) • Don’t take rejection personally “… great people talk about issues, average people talk about themselves, and small people talk about others” (360 Degree Leader)

  23. Leading Across • Share Your Strengths • Admit Your Faults • Share your weaknesses (colleagues know them already!) “When you get real and admit your shortcomings, what you’re doing is making yourself approachable and trustworthy” (360 Degree Leader)

  24. Determining Your Future • Revisit “Top 5” document • Objectives Revisited • Are you viewing management from 360 degrees? • Realize your value as middle managers • Stepping stone or final destination? • Personality inventories • • •

  25. Determining Your Future • Leadership Books • Calabrese, R.L. (2002). The leadership assignment: Creating change. Boston: Allyn & Bacon. • Preparing and leading change within an organization. • Kouzes, J. M. & Posner, B.Z. (2002). The leadership challenge (3rd ed.). San Francisco,CA: Jossey-Bass. • Based on ten commitments of leadership that can be applied within any organization. • Maxwell, J.C. (2005). The 360 leader. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc. • Developing your influence from anywhere within an organization

  26. Closing • Questions? Contact Information: • Thad Long: (419)-372-7479 ( • Dave Hollinger: (419)-372-7477 (