Middle managers & leadership – part 3: how to become a middle leader?

“Which leadership book or training can you recommend me? How can I become a middle leader?” These simple questions require very complex answers if you consider all dimensions of leadership. Day, Harrison and Halpin (2009) advocate an integrative model of leadership development with three levels. The first, visible level targets skills. Leadership is a question […]

Middle managers & leadership – part 2: leading from the middle: future proof middle managers.

“The distinguishing feature of middle management is not where they sit in the organization chart. What makes them unique is their access to top management coupled with their knowledge of operations. This enables them to function as mediators between the organization’s strategy and day-to-day activities” (Wooldridge, Schmid & Floyd, 2008, p. 1192). Tying strategy to […]

HR professionals as emergent leaders in organization: how to get there?

Last Friday we organized group discussions for all master students about 5 different leadership books.  We noticed something peculiar in our groups: in one group the HR students stayed together when they had the opportunity to mingle with the others. In another group the HR students advocated in an assertive way the most complex leadership […]

Authentic Leadership 2.0.

Recently I realized that a lot of people are embracing authenticity out of a need for simplicity or transparency.  Maybe this is a response to a (perceived) increased complexity. Maybe it is linked to the first level of adult development: socialized mind. I don’t know. But what hit me next, was that this need is […]

What predicts the development of shared leadership?

On this blog we have mentioned several times (e.g. here and here) that shared leadership has become an important leadership paradigm in the 21st century.  Up until now, we have not offered you an overview of what factors increase the likelihood that shared leadership will develop. In reviewing that literature, it struck me that I […]

European Commission approves 40% female quota

The European Commission has approved proposals for at least 40% of women on company boards by 2020. I wanted to provide some academic references that demonstrate how  more gender diversity in top management teams leads to better organizational performance, but that is not needed. The EU provides already a very nice brief overview here. They forget, […]

Gwendolyn Rutten & the Glass Cliff

Caroline Gennez (former chairperson of SP.A) and Marianne Thyssen (former chairperson of CD&V) both balanced and went over the Glass Cliff. Gwendolyn Rutten (candidate to become the next chairperson of  Open-Vld) might become the next victim of that Cliff. The Glass Cliff is not the same as the Glass Ceiling. The latter is the underrepresentation […]

The problem with the 70:20:10 rule in leadership development

I recently stumbled across a piece of text in a forthcoming chapter of the Oxford Handbook of Leadership and Organizations, which made me smile. It made me smile because leading authors in the field, Scott DeRue and Christopher Myers, structured the issue I had with the 70:20:10 rule nicely. Here it comes: “A common assumption […]

Shared leadership triumphs in sports

I can’t help to notice that in the last two major sport events in Europe, the European Championship soccer and the Tour de France, shared leadership has triumphed over traditional leadership. Spain won with 4-0 from Germany and played in an unconventional 4-6-0 formation. According to Wikipedia this formation sacrifices an out-and-out striker for the tactical advantage of […]

Drunken man stumble

Back in the day, when I was a PhD student, I often received the question: what is your PhD about?  I always answered: I will only know this when it is finished.  I then tried to explain what Karl Weick (1995, p182-183) learned me: talk your walk, instead of walk your talk. The latter has […]