Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Gold That Lies Beneath: A Reminder From Susan Boyle

The warming of hearts and the shouts of joy from Susan Boyle’s extraordinary appearance on Britain's Got Talent reality TV show over the Easter weekend happened at just the right time. In a world searching for its moral compass, she symbolizes all that we must do to open up opportunities for each and every person on this planet.

The gold that lies beneath is everywhere. It has been buried too long by neglect, judgment and relationship illiteracy. The industrial revolution and information age which made the gold difficult to see have reached their limits of growth. Susan Boyle reminds us of the legitimacy of our hearts and the compelling need to return civil and organizational life to ordinary folks.

We know little of Susan Boyle right now. Her story will unfold for better or worse. No doubt we will learn even more from it as we struggle to re-calibrate the world for the greater good.

In our places of work, one group holds the key to the next age of the heart and opportunity: middle managers. Study after study points to a compelling fact that as middle managers go, so do people around them. The organization follows accordingly.

For leaders of organizations, this means—invest in middle managers. It might seem counterintuitive in these trying times. But, history has demonstrated that hollowing out the middle management group when times are tough and neglecting their leadership growth leads to declines in both the top and bottom lines.

It’s time to get conventional wisdom right. The soft stuff works. But, only when driven by universal tenets which truly run deep---attitudes and values that cause us to reach toward people not away from them.

If you haven’t seen Susan already, here’s the link:

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