September 2010

In This Issue

  • Leadership Challenges for Middle Managers
  • Undone- Positive Thinking, Finding Your Passion and the American Dream
  • Evaluating Organizational Culture
  • Upcoming Appearances

Leadership Challenges for Middle Managers

In a recent issue of a publication from the Center for Creative Leadership, they discussed the complexities of working in a middle management position.

These challenges fall into three categories:

1. Getting the top and the bottom of the hierarchy to work together. Top management sets the strategy, but unless that strategy is clearly communicated, it is difficult to get the bottom of the organization to work in tandem with the top. In addition to effectively communicating the strategy, the bottom of the organization needs to see how their jobs contribute to the achievement of the strategy.

2. Collaborating across the organization. You have to align and integrate work with your peers from other work groups to generate a shared commitment to broader organizational initiatives. Some of your work is shared, but you also have independent responsibilities. You compete for resources and manage groups that have very different agendas. You have many demands coming from different directions, and often little postive feedback.

3. Having a demanding job and demanding roles outside of work. You might be caring for children as well as elderly parents. You may have spouses and partners you want to spend time with, commitments to volunteer organizations and your community, while trying to live a healthier and fuller life.

To read more, click here.


Undone- Positive Thinking, Finding Your Passion and the American Dream

There are two books out recently that talk about how the ubiqutious promotion of positive thinking and the pursuit of the American Dream have undermined America. In Bright-Sided – How the Relentless Promotion of Postive Thinking Has Undermined America, Barbara Ehrenreich begins by describing how after diagnosed with cancer, she was repeatedly bombarded with the message that having cancer was a “gift”. Grieving her loss of health became politically unacceptable in an environment espousing that with positive thought you can co-create your reality. Hoping for the best and preparing for the worst became old-fashion.

It is this same refusal to calculate the downside or worst case scenario (as well as greed) by our financial institutions, that resulted in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Riding on the wave of positive thinking with the goal of financial prosperity, the financial institutions collaborated with individuals, allowing many to live beyond their means so that they were not prepared for any changes in their financial situation. Then with the economic downturn, many lost their jobs and were forced into foreclosure and bankrupcy. Those in the real estate and related industries were particularly hard hit, many through no fault of their own.

In Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream, 26 year- old David Platt who leads a megachurch in Birmingham Alabama, targets the corporation-like magachurches that offer consumer Christianity. The American Dream comes with a focus on the self which is contrary to the Judeo-Christian beliefs in the Bible. Religion and spirituality are no longer about human compassion, forgiveness, feeding the poor and caring for the sick, but more about “What’s God going to do for me today?”

To read more, click here.

Evaluating Organizational Culture

Organization culture is defined as “a common perception held by the organization’s members; a system of shared meaning.” A dominant culture expresses the core values that are shared by a majority of the organization’s members. In a strong culture the core values are intensely held and widely shared.

You need to choose an employer whose culture is compatible with your values and one in which you’ll feel comfortable. Here is a list of things that you can do to assess an organization’s culture

To read more, click here.

Upcoming Appearances

MISBO (Mid-South Independent Schools Business Officers Conference)
October 28, 2010
Change Management and Human Resource Best Practices

Emory University Alumni Career Services Webcast
October 29, 2010
How to Develop Career Resilience