The Lift Project: Leading for Results: Entering the Middle Space

Though character is often defined as the moral or ethics practiced by an individual, Dr. Henry Cloud suggests character is “the ability to meet the demands of reality.” So began my first week of Leading for Results, the LIFT online course I am taking this Spring.

Dr. Henry Cloud is our teacher and his book Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality is our coursebook. This week featured the 1st 3 chapters of the book and a 16 minute video of Henry inviting to enter what he calls “the middle space”.

The image he used that stuck out for me this week was that of a boast taht leaves a wake as it zooms  over the water. There are 2 sides to every wake, and for leaders those 2 sides are: the task side and the relationship side. A good wake produces good results and a positive response for the people involved. The challenge is leaving a good wake that builds on task and relationship.

Most people focus on one or the other. Lean too heavily into the task side, and you get the job done but leave relational carnage along the way. Or, get everybody to love you but nothing accomplished, you can all wait together in the unemployment line.

Most resources focus on task or relationship. Henry introduced the concept of entering the middle space. The space between both sides of the wake, that part of leadership between task and relationship. In the middle space, there is an opportunity for great leverage and growth.

In the next 6 weeks we will be taking a closer look at the traits of people who leave a good wake in their leadership waters. That’s what I desire to do, and am eager for what the weeks ahead hold. You can sign up here.

I look forward to sharing what I learn along the way. What are you learning about balancing the task side and relationship side of your leadership? How is life going in the middle space?


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