“Leaders are almost by definition people who change minds.” —Howard E. Gardner, Leading Minds
- Only 49 percent of employees have trust and confidence in their senior managers.
- Just 55 percent say senior leaders behave consistently with core values.
- Only 53 percent believe senior management has made the right changes to stay competitive.
Clearly, much is going wrong in the workplace. Some 40 percent of surveyed executives doubt their leaders have credible plans to address the economic crisis. Certainly, this lack of confidence harms an organization’s ability to move forward.
In light of these problems, middle managers have unprecedented opportunities to become more proactive by stepping forward and offering course corrections — and they should act with deliberate speed. Good times allow organizations to ride out challenges, but today’s tough financial climate won’t permit a wait-and-see approach.
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.
“Leading up requires great courage and determination,” says Michael Useem, a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the seminal book Leading Up: Managing Your Boss So You Both Win. “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.”
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The complete 2,000 word article includes these important concepts:
- What’s Happening
- Emerging from the Middle
- 3 Questions to Ask
- The View from Above
- What’s Needed to Lead Up?
- Assertive Diplomacy
- Challenge Ideas, Not People
- Push Back
- Dealing with a Jerk Boss
- Bounce Back
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