Organizations have begun to flatten the hierarchy of leadership. Instead of clearly defined structures with team leaders and project managers, people are being placed on teams with common goals and overall objectives. Sometimes, there are no official “titles” when working on a group project. A first year employee may have a better idea than a senior manager with 20 years in the business. This can actually work to “over-empower” a younger employee, causing cockiness. As millennials enter the workforce, this situation can cause a rift with the older generations. Not because the ideas are different, new or better. At times, some millennials can come off as dismissive towards older generations. Some feel entitled to the same pay as a senior member whose been doing it for 20 years, because their title is the same. Right or wrong, they have been labeled as the “instant gratification generation”. They want it now and it’s not fair if they aren’t getting it. Raises, promotions, corner office, etc…. I will say this as a generation X’er, trained by baby boomers, who has 20+ years left in the tank. Slow your roll.
During conflicts, a boss in the middle must know when to say “time-out”. There’s a point when arguing your point (even if you’re right) only works to further aggravate the situation. There are many other benefits to discontinuing an argument.
I am still in the middle of a spiritual war. It can be very painful. I feel my soul being torn part. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 gave me peace and encouragement tonight. The verses enlightened me to the fact that, while in the midst of this struggle, I can change my thought pattern.
So, I took a break from blogging for a bit. No reason. Just took a break. At first I felt a little guilty, like the people following me would be angry or unfollow me because I wasn’t writing every few days. Like it’s all about me. I was trying to figure out how to apologize, then I realized something…
This article discusses a crucial part of being a “boss in the middle” that’s often missed. Sometimes, we need a break. Here’s what I think we should do.
There are a lot of things I love about God. He’s real, He created everything, He never changes, He’s mysteriously on time, He’s always right, He’s always got our back, He forgives us everytime, etc… I’m not even scratching the surface of all the things God does for us. Our tiny human brains can’t encompass all of His glory. There’s one thing I especially love about God, that we as “bosses in the middle” need to remember when making decisions.
Some people say that if you don’t have haters, you’re not doing it right. That statement is very true for me, as a leader trying to uphold Christian values in a secular profession. For some reason, there are people that don’t like me and I believe it is because I am a Christian. Along with being a Christian comes certain stereotypes. Among them are we all hate gay people, we’re hypocrites and we believe in a fairy tales. We are irrational and judgmental. These are just a few off the top of my head and they are far from the truth.
When people believe stereotypes about a certain group or culture, it dictates their interactions with that group. This isn’t fair, but that’s life. So what do we do?
As bosses in the middle, we believe that everyone can do their very best, every day. Part of that belief encompasses another belief, that every issue has a solution. Even though these two things are true, from time to time, we fail. Why? We believe that it’s because people aren’t thinking critically in crucial situations. Every incident investigation I have ever done into a system failure, has some form of human error factored in. Most of the time, it’s communication or the lack of communication. We can’t predict every possible scenario that may happen during a project, but we can teach people how to think through these issues. By empowering our teams and setting expectations, we believe we can get to the core of setbacks before they happen.
We believe this is accomplished through full engagement in the task, while remaining aware of potential obstacles.
I’ll offer 3 things that we as leaders must tell our teams, in order to set the expectation and influence the type of behavior we want to see.