Thursday, April 26, 2007

Stuck in the Middle

If you want to win a battle, it is better to have an army of asses led by a lion, than an army of lions led by an ass” – George Washington

The above quote by George Washington is one of my all time favorites. At every place I’ve worked I posted the quote as a way to keep myself focused on being an effective leader. Unfortunately for me, many of my superiors have failed to read and understand George’s words leaving me to live out both sides of the quote. I am the lion leading my people, but at the same time I am the lion being led by an ass (my boss). The role of being in middle management at a bad company is grinding in many ways. I can be completely effective and influential in leading my people yet at the same time be hindered by the inadequacies of the leadership above me.

Like the ass, many upper management bosses’ are stubborn, slow, lazy, stupid and loud providing little actual leadership or support. They would much rather blob around their office or chirp out cliché’s so they can hear themselves talk, instead of trying to be real leaders. This lack of top level leadership and support chips away at the middle management lion’s motivation. Eventually the lion middle manager decides that it is easier to “blend in” because the stupid asses above don’t care to listen or act on anything. The transition from lion middle manager to turtle at work middle manager occurs without the clueless upper management asses ever taking notice. It’s a shame, but it happens!


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