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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

DISCUSSION ISSUES AND QUESTIONS

Issues

  1. Leaders who work in the middle ranges of the corporation use unique skills.

  2. Inner leadership has a dual definition: part structural, part personal. It describes the type of leadership that takes place in the middle. It also deals with the impact of the leader’s core values that guide each leader as well as each follower.

  3. Quantitatively, and perhaps qualitatively, more leadership is exercised by middle-level leaders than by figurehead top leaders.

  4. Inner leaders occupy a unique culture, unlike that of their bosses. They foster dissimilar goals, use some distinct leadership techniques, and apply others skills differently.

  5. Forming alliances—partnerships—between the CEO and these second level leaders may be the wave of the future.

  6. Followers are key to all social action and success since they provide the strength, power, capacity, and facts top leaders must have if they and their organization are to succeed.

  7. Leadership in the middle of the agency can be defined as an interactive relationship between a leader and several followers voluntarily engaged in situations (communities or cultures) where leader and led are united on values terms and trust each other enough to risk self in participation in joint activity.

  8. Each person comes to work to get his or her personal values, vision, goals, and outcomes met, not just (often not even) those of the corporation.

  9. Values and a values-based work culture, not system or procedure, are most important to our success as inner leaders.

  10. Inner leaders inspire follower obedience.

  11. Inspiration, not motivation, characterizes the inner leader’s relationships with followers.

  12. Inner leaders use their personal power more than authority power.

  13. Inner leaders learn to both trust and be trustworthy.

  14. Inner leadership concerns the whole person of both leader and led.

  15. Inner leadership is not always merely a stepping stone to the CEO’s chair. For many people, the role of inner leader is a conscious choice.

Questions

  1. What are the essential components of inner leadership? How is inner leadership different from top leadership? From middle management? From line workers?

  2. Provide one example from your experience of an effective inner leader, and describe briefly his or her typical behavior in relationships with you?

  3. In your experience in the middle of your corporation, have you ever functioned as a leader? In which relationships did you find it easiest to lead successfully? Explain.

  4. What obstacles do you find most challenging in functioning fully as an inner leader?

  5. Differentiate middle management from inner leadership. Are the arguments here similar or different from those proposed in the literature to differentiate leadership from management generally? Specify.

  6. Can you be an effective inner leader and not also be a values leader? Explain your response.

  7. How do you think your boss feels abut the idea of leadership being exercised in the middle and with the objective of securing the inner leader’s goals, not just corporate ones?


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