3 loyalty spheres
With the ‘lean’ and ‘agile’ movements middle management positions have become increasingly difficult. As a middle manager you are in the sandwich in every way. Most stressful is that you have to navigate 3 loyalty spheres or else you will loose your company, your team or yourself.
3 loyalty spheres explained
Loyalty to your company
As a manager you are a representative of the company. You are an agent that acts on its behalf. The company has to insist on your loyalty and I can find no fault in that. Also, think where it would put you if you would dissociate yourself from your companies perspective substantially.
Loyalty to your team
You owe your team loyalty. Period. How else would you expect your team to be loyal to you? You are the team’s advocate and lobbyist. You have to protect its interests in battles for resources on your management level. Think what would happen if you abandoned your team: you would cut its success and by that your own.
Loyalty to self
Integrity is to act in accordance to your values and beliefs. If you have read some of this blog then I it probably comes as no surprise to you that I warn you to never sell your values. You will hate the ones that make you and eventually start to hate yourself.
Keeping the spheres in sync
Of cause there is permanent tension between these spheres as your company, your team and you yourself have partly conflicting goals. There is no miracle cure either. Sometimes it helps to explain. Sometimes it helps to negotiate. Always be ready to go “all in” and put your job on the line. In the end: what good is a job that you can not make to fit your personal values?