Leadership skill is crucial to leaders who work in the vast middle ranges of the corporation, the agencies of government, and all other social institutions. Yet the literature is largely silent about leadership in the interior. Nevertheless, it is often here that the best leadership happens. Certainly quantitatively more leadership takes place in the multiple work communities in the middle of the corporate hierarchy than it does at the top leader level.
Unfortunately, the leaders in the middle of the corporation do not always get the credit they deserve, nor have they received due recognition historically or theoretically. The top leaders get the credit, and those in the middle—who do the work—are largely ignored. This is true in all social institutions— business, government, the arts, and education. History focuses on the top leaders and the big events. The big problems and the famous leaders get the headlines and the chapters in history books.
Notwithstanding the public acclaim garnered by top leaders, success or failure in most situations rests on a cadre of lower-ranking officers and their followers. The work of the many leaders in the inner levels in any large-scale organization does more to determine both CEO and overall corporate success than does that of top leaders. These leaders are the people who create new futures for themselves and their work communities. They design new programs policies and operating procedures. These inner leaders also implement that policy, oversee process activity, and assess work done against planned outcomes. They deal directly with corporate staff on a one-to-one basis, assess human potential, and integrate human capital with money, material, and technical resources.