Leading From the Middle. Key Objectives. Review major trends Discuss the implications of a shift in leadership towards leading from the middle Integrate salient concepts related to leading from the middle. What if?.
You’re a mid level academic director at a small college. Your college is interested in expanding its reach and looking to add to the number of online offerings. The notion is contentious among your faculty, some of whom question the quality of distance classes. There’s actually some evidence that retention and completion rates lag behind grounded classes. However, it’s been reported that among other colleges in your region, online classes are attracting the fastest growing percentage of new students. You’re caught between serving two opposing opinions, one held by senior admin, the other by faculty.
You are a middle level leader at your college. The VP of Human Resources is really upset with one of your direct reports as he feels this person is being disrespectful and is not supporting the administration’s decisions (e.g. undermining the new performance appraisal process). The VP of HR is putting you in the middle …wanting you to reprimand your direct report for what he feels is inappropriate, insubordinate. You have a good relationship with both your direct report and the VP and yet disagree with the VP of HR in this case.
Leaders can learn from followers!
Rath & Conchie
Leadership does not reside solely in the hands of top executives.
“The stock of the charismatic CEO is falling and, a new star is blazing across the corporate heavens. Business’s latest hero—and perhaps its most unlikely—is the honest, hard-working manager.”
Think of middle children – they are usually the ones who bring siblings together, managing relationships diplomatically and effectively. Think of middle states (i.e., the Midwest) – farmers, small towns, and expansive prairies that instill grounded, simple values of what is possible. Think of the middle of an Oreo cookie – it is what holds things together and brings out the flavor in base ingredients. The middle is full of value!
and confidence in their senior managers.
management has made the right changes
to stay competitive.
Is this true in your organization?
From Content for Coaches and Consultants
When strong leadership doesn’t come from above, it’s up to the organization itself — in particular, the people in the middle — to launch a rescue operation.
“We might fear how our superior will respond, we might doubt our right to lead up, but we all carry a responsibility to do what we can when it will make a difference.”
Professor, Wharton School, University of PA
Leading Up: Managing Your Boss So You Both Win.
Go to a flip chart and address the question at each flip chart: