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A Summary of

A tale of two managers: why top leaders practice the ‘middle way’

by
Aytekin Tank
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Under-managers

  • Afraid of conflict and avoid tackling problems.
  • Their leadership breeds apathy, crushes desire to take action, and loses great employees

Micromanagers

  • They tell employees exactly what to do and how to do it.
  • They solve conflict with orders and don't give people the opportunity to learn from their mistakes.
  • Their leadership hampers employees' drive to succeed and destroys innovation.

The middle way

  • The best leaders empower people to make decisions, offer periodic feedback, handle conflict by listening and asking questions, and talk about problems.
  • Their leadership inspires more productive and more satisfied employees.

Three steps to providing better feedback

  1. Ask to clarify the problem: acknowledge and agree on the issue first.
  2. Provide context: outline the overall goal and explain why it matters.
  3. Empower problem-solving: trust employees to develop their own solutions to inspire feel of ownership.
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