The Middle Way

Don’t let organizational hierarchy limit pursuit of your leadership potential. Leaders from the middle—or anywhere along the spectrum of a group or organization—are highly valuable contributors to successful teams.

“Follow the Leader” is a classic game that teaches very young children how to take direction, imitate a model, respect authority and appreciate hierarchical structure. But it may also wind up imprinting a rather narrow definition on our brains, asserting that within a group structure, there is just one leader and everyone else is a “follower.”

It’s important to acknowledge right up front that we’re not assigning comparative value to these roles. Followers are not “less than” leaders. Leaders are not inherently “better” than followers. Groups need individuals to take on both roles to effectively and successfully pursue any objective...

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