Leading from the middle moves the sole liability of the organization from one person or a small group of individuals towards the entire community as a whole. The idea of leading from within or the middle sets the named leader to become a host or guide rather than the hero (Martin, 2015). Maxwell (2010) discusses leading from where you are as being a way to share the responsibility and allow others to find their inner leadership strength and lead as well as the named leader. Everyone needs to take part and be accountable within any organization; this is the investment workers need to make in their communities. By doing this everyone is a leader (Martin, 2015).
In our open, social and participatory world, leaders and workers need to work together in order accomplish the objectives that are directed at them. As a leader, there are several aspects that are leading in a digital world has. First, diversity, leading in the 21st Central requires for its leaders to be diverse and involved from within to understand what is transpiring around them. Next, the work environment itself is changing. As a leader, we, need to be more mindful of this as well as respect those who are involved in our organization. Time and space need to be addressed as elements of the work environment that are not constant for everyone. As a leader, we need to understand that areas no long include cubicles and time is not a 9 to 5 job. Again the respect of both these elements from leaders will help to engage a more meaningful environment for both workers and the leadership itself. Next is that distance is a large factor in current organizations. Global and distributed team working means that seeing the individuals we work with is now often a luxury, and we need to engineer other ways of connecting with each other. The key to all of these is that leaders today need to have good communication skills; not only orally but also in writing and be able to address sensitive topics within the electronic environment. Flexibility is a luxury that many leaders seem to feel they do not have, however in a digital leadership world flexibility which is an essential tool to possess.
Leadership has always been a slippery slope for people to manage. We need to remember that there is a distinct difference between managers and leaders. Managers have subordinates and leaders have followers. Leaders that are well adapted to with the changing and evolving world of technology are not leaders who lead from the top - down. Rather they are leaders that embrace the diversity of the environment they are in and lead from within creating a culture of an innovative workforce that move and grow together.
Maxwell, J. (2010). John Maxwell: Lead from where you are. Success. Retireved from http://www.success.com/article/john-maxwell-lead-from-where-you-are
Martin, M (2015, Dec 4). A deep dive into thinking about 21st century leadership. The Bamboo Project. Retrieved from http://www.michelemmartin.com/thebambooprojectblog/2015/12/work-in-progress-the-leadership-lab.html