At the moment I am reading David Price’s latest book – The Power of Us: How we connect, act and innovate together. The premise of the book is around ordinary people working together to drive change. He covers all aspects of our society, and uses the latest examples from around the world to highlighted people that have a desire to make the world a better place.
Early in his book he highlights self-determination as a key driver in work and life. In particular he references research that points to 3 keys that people want in their jobs.
Competence – Belief that you are in control of your life or a task.
Relatedness – Being connected and cared for.
Autonomy – Freedom to make decisions.
Relating this to Middle Management, I think these are 3 keys that leaders can use to help develop and empower Middle Leaders.
A recent example in my own job provides a real life example of what this may look like. I was recently given the opportunity to lead a group of 12 teachers, looking at our response to COVID-19 and lockdown learning. We meet together as a group where we looked at a variety of new evidence, collected community and student feedback and reflected on previous reviews. Ultimately, we developed a series of recommendations that hopefully our school will enact over the next few years.
This process was probably the first time in my middle management career I was given a task like this. Something I could get my teeth into, lead and develop. It wasn’t easy bringing 12 people together. As you would imagine we had a few issues and I would change things if I had the opportunity again. However, it was a process where I felt competence, relatedness and autonomy.
If you are a leader reading this. How many times do we offer these three things to those we work with?