Top Leaders Sometimes Have to Get Out of the Way

Traditional top-down leadership is ill-suited to the changes required for accountable healthcare. Empowerment, also known as bottom-up leadership from frontline workers, may be the best route to organizational transformation.

2 comments on "Top Leaders Sometimes Have to Get Out of the Way"
Michael Ackermann (10/15/2013 at 6:59 AM)

Philip, I agree with your article; however, these days bottom up translates very often into inertia from the top. While a team is often capable of improving tactical measures, it cannot always have the vision that leads to significant change. Usually, the senior leaders/CEO have the broader insights that leads to a vision or transformation. I totally agree with you that leadership has to occur on all levels and you can see that on every successful athletic team. Rather than having an attitude that people work "for you" leaders need to have the attitude that people work "with them". That attitude change will go a long way
bettynoyes (9/27/2013 at 12:20 PM)

I agree Philip! It is the middle managers who know what is dysfunctional and how it becomes more dysfunctional at time of stress and change. My caveat is that many have not had the opportunity to be offered some basic management skills in a safe "arena" of discussions in the classroom and with skilled mentors. Dealing with conflict, managing change using skillful communication, organizing teams and holding them accountable, rewards and recognitions that work, etc. An educational approach to these "soft" skills is essential before we can expect them to "run" with the ball.


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