Leading from the Middle

May 25, 2012

Most leadership books and seminars will, at some point, talk about leading from the front. I want to talk about the neglected art of Leading From the Middle. If you are a Middle Manager, you probably do not get a lot of opportunities to lead from the front. The nature of your job is that you are often behind the front lines and out of sight. Leading from the middle is not as sexy as leading from the front, but it is an extremely important role in any organization.

In most organizations, the front line supervisors are the driving force that makes things happen. Any military veteran will tell you that it is the senior non-commissioned officers, sergeants and chiefs, that run the military. It is the front line supervisors that keep any organization moving forward.

So, if the front line supervision is so crucial, what is the role of those in middle management? In many organizations, middle management is seen as the graveyard of aspirations. Middle Managers are often required to work longer hours, attend monotonous meetings, deal with HR issues related to their subordinates, and always be available to their boss. While this does not sound like a glamorous job, those who learn to lead from the middle have the potential to influence the direction of their organization and the quality of the service that they provide for many years to come. We will talk about how to do that in the next post.

To be continued…

Annie and I are serving the Lord in Brazil. We are training leaders and helping plant churches all over the country. You can help us make a difference! Just click here to get involved. Obrigado!

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