Image by Caitlin Fairchild

Video: Leading From the Middle

Most are leading from the middle of organizations--whereas most approaches to leadership assume you're at the top.

Jackson Nickerson saw a problem. "Most people engaged in leadership are leading from the middle of the organization," he said. "Most approaches to leadership assume you're at the top." 

In response, Nickerson, Associate Dean and Director of the Brookings Executive Education, developed a new philosophy of leadership he calls "Leading at the Crossroads of Change." 

"You have to find ways to lead up, to lead down in terms of engaging who are your customers--internal customers or citizens--and also engage those who compliment what you're doing or who could block it," said Nickerson. "We as human beings have the tendency to jump to a solution...instead of asking for buy in, if you 'be in,' that is ['be in'] the process, it turns out you end up solving the right problem the first time and implementing the solution well." 

Nickerson spoke to us at Excellence in Government Live on Sept. 6. You hear more about his views on leading from the middle in the video below: 

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