188: The Messy Middle | Dominic George

The Leadership Enigma

22-03-2024 • 40 mins

Dominic George is from California but is now based in New York City and has a passion for helping black men working in middle manager positions. This episode is all about how to leverage the Messy Middle.

George's passion for education and continuous learning was sparked by his 5th grade teacher and he learned the value of relying on other people when he was competing as a professional athlete in the swimming pool. Middle managers in George's view are the group who have a direct tie to the leaders who are creating company strategy, policy and vision and a direct tie to the individual contributors within an organisation.

The middle manager population can sometimes be missed due to their size and scale with competing interests and priorities. This can be the issue for many who decide to transition from a business as they get fed up of waiting for some form of focus and effort on their needs. The reality is that the messy middle is full of diverse thought and skills and is actually the dynamo of the business which can either drive and enable change or even block change.

One of the biggest challenges is communication or the lack of communication with the messy middle, partly associated with the different demographics that now exist within our organisations. George also tells me that new first line managers also make up the messy middle. They are full of enthusiasm and zest as they start to get traction in their careers and then suddenly they find themselves lost in the sheer size and inaction of the centre of the organisation and their momentum stalls.

Limiting beliefs also exist within the middle manager group, for example visionaries don't think they can have the impact they should have and as such some lose self confidence and even start to abdicate their personal power to the more senior levels.

George's top tips for any senior leader to get the most from the messy middle include:
1. Really see and connect with your people in this space to really understand the value, need, challenges and successes of this group.
2. Tailor professional development opportunities for this group, their sheer size and influence can drastically shift the momentum of an organisation.
3. Pull people forward. Senior leaders must create space and opportunity for the middle managers to step into new growth experiences.

George also focuses on helping black men within the middle of a business. He sees that they are under leveraged in most instances and are waiting for permission to step up or they lack the opportunity to show what they can do. George coaches black men to define those spaces for themselves and identify sponsors within a business to be ambassadors for the change needed. Thankfully George is seeing positive change within organisations.

www.linkedin.com/in/dominiccgeorge
dominic@visionleadershipforlife.com

Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videos Listen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5P www.leadersenigma.com

Watch & Subscribe: 👀 https://www.youtube.com/@theleadersenigma/videos
Listen & Subscribe: 🎙️ https://open.spotify.com/show/5NSnRyHzPmyY5OWhGzKU5P
www.leadersenigma.com


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