Leading from the middle

There is a lot of literature about how to get to the top of your profession. By comparison, there is scant information about how to be a good middle manager.

The term "middle management" is an amorphous term. It can be someone who manages two people as well as an SVP who manages a global workforce. "Middle" does not adequately describe the range of responsibility such a manager has.

Managing from the middle is a balancing act. You want to do your best by helping the team and the boss succeed.

Good middle managers do these things well:

  • Understand the big picture -- where the organization is headed
  • Root out problems -- find way around or through obstacles that derail lesser teams
  • Work with colleagues -- live by the mantra: from me to we
  • Speak the truth

Good middle managers are not yes people. They gain credence through their competence, diligence and conscience.

John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2018, Trust Across America honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Trust. Also in 2018, Inc.com named Baldoni a Top 100 Leadership Speaker. Global Gurus ranked him No. 22 on its list of top 30 global experts, a list he has been on since 2007. In 2014, Inc.com named Baldoni to its list of top 50 leadership experts. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including his newest, “MOXIE: The Secret to Bold and Gutsy Leadership.”

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