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Opinion | The Quiet Magic of Middle Managers

๐ŸŒˆ Abstract

The article discusses the important role of middle managers in organizations and communities, highlighting how they serve as the "invisible glue" that holds society together during times of division and conflict. It explores the concept of "ethical leadership" exhibited by these managers, who prioritize people over process and strive to help their teams and communities become the best versions of themselves.

๐Ÿ™‹ Q&A

[01] Knowing that moral formation is part of the job

1. What is the key lesson the article derives from the example of Ted Lasso? The article states that the key lesson from the example of Ted Lasso is that if you help your people become the best versions of themselves, the results you seek will take care of themselves.

2. How does the article describe the role of moral formation in the job of middle managers? The article suggests that for the most inspiring middle managers, moral formation is seen as part of their job, not just management.

[02] Creating a moral ecology

1. What example does the article provide to illustrate the concept of creating a moral ecology? The article uses the example of the author's former boss, Jim Lehrer at the "PBS NewsHour", who communicated the organization's standards and moral expectations through subtle gestures and reactions, rather than explicit instructions.

2. How does the article describe the impact of a morally healthy community? The article states that morally healthy communities "habituate people to behave in certain ways and make it easier to be good."

[03] Being hyperattentive

1. What insight from the poet Mary Oliver does the article highlight? The article quotes Mary Oliver's insight that "the soul exists, and that it is built entirely out of attentiveness."

2. How does the article describe the impact of leaders paying close attention to their teams? The article suggests that leaders who cast "a just and loving attention on people" help them "blossom" and come to see themselves in the way they are seen by their leaders.

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