Scott Mautz’s book, Leading from the Middle, highlights a critical leadership need that organizations often overlook. Anyone who reports to someone and has someone reporting to them must lead from the middle. This can be really messy, since middle management is full of contradictions and opposing agendas, as Scott says in the book.
Here’s why this is so important. Scott points out that
– Middle managers can impact as much as 22% of revenue.
– Replacing a bad middle manager increases productivity by 12%.
– Employees with a strong middle leader are 20% less likely to leave when offered another job.
But there is a particular mindset and skillset necessary for influencing 360 degrees – up, down, and across one’s organization. This position is one of the most important and impactful, so why aren’t we paying more attention to it?
Scott compares this extremely tricky position to being a fish in a fishbowl. “Maneuvering in the middle of an oversized fishbowl, all eyes privy to my every movement. Surrounded, yet lonely. Pressure from all sides; the weight of water. Watching other fish with their own agenda zip by while I labored to remain steady and purposeful in the middle of it all.”
As a former middle manager, it’s so important to me to help other leaders develop self-awareness and become epic coaches. Even on teams within teams or from the messy middle, leaders have the potential to drive people and organizational results and build a high-performing, collaborative culture. While it may seem that being stuck in the middle inhibits what you can do or accomplish as a leader, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
We have built some amazing training programs that can tackle this particular challenge for leaders. Learn more by reaching out to us.
#MiddleManagement #LeadershipDevelopment #PeoplePerformance #PeopleScience