Once more a study shows that middle managers who act as middle leaders are next to senior managers the most important determinants for innovation/change in organizations today.  Read this Harvard business review blog post on some great research: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/05/reinventing_middle_management.html?referral=00563&cm_mmc=email-_-newsletter-_-daily_alert-_-aler…
As mentioned here and here, the role of the middle manager is transforming to the point that they may be the most important people in your company today (Mollick, 2011). There are a multitude of reasons for this, but just to mention two: 1)      More horizontal structures increase the importance of middle managers in achieving competitive advantage (Floyd & Wooldridge,…
“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 of expertise.…
“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 operations…
Research is ambivalent about the future of middle managers. “New technology itself has become the great general manager,” writes Lynda Gratton (2011, p. 36 ). She’s leading an international research consortium on the ‘future of work’. She announces the end of middle managers: ”Gen Y workers see no value in reporting to someone who simply keeps track of what they do,…
When I tell people that I am conducting research on mindfulness, I often get frowns. "You are supposed to be a serious academic. How can you be involved into this wishy-washy, spiritual stuff?" After very mindfully accepting my frustration I accept this feedback and explain. True ... mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist spirituality and true ... for some mindfulness is considered…
Talent leadership can be understood as playing to strenghts of people, focusing on what makes them unique and leveraging those unique talents to the well-being of the individual and the company.  In our research (Veestraeten & Leroy, 2012) we have looked at those factors and identified that these talent leaders are characterized by a mindset of (1) positivity, (2) trust, and…
This picture* illustrates two important assets of clusters of networks: closure & brokerage. Brokerage is the unique connection between different networks. Brokers bring diversity. They connect different perspectives and make innovation and creativity possible. Closure is making networks closed and intense. Within a closed network people know and trust each other. They think…
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 could quite easily classify (at least at first…
In zijn nieuwste leiderschapsboek ontleedt David De Cremer, haarfijn hoe leiderschap lijdt onder uitstelgedrag. Het fenomeen is herkenbaar. De nodige actie en beslissingen zijn vaak duidelijk, maar ze worden uitgesteld of zijn halfslachtig. Elke stap lijkt “too little, too late”. Beleid loopt vast in inspraak. De leiderschapscrisis gaat diep. We aanvaarden geen directief, dominant…
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 in the existing literature is that 70% of leadership…
All through history, stories have been a powerful way to build communities, to give meaning to the often tragic ‘nonsense’ of life and to inspire for action. As the beautiful quote, attributed to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry goes: “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and…