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Jane Sparrow’s interview with Bob Garlick in the recent Business Book Talk is a wonderful example of leading by example. If you just listen to how Jane talks about her approach to leading employees, you get an immediate sense of the quality and common sense she distills in her book The Culture Builders. Her focus on the importance of middle managers in making things happen may not be radically new but the pragmatism that she brings to the process of mobilizing them is immediately convincing. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy – particularly with the five distinctive roles that she outlines for middle managers (prophet, storyteller, strategist, coach, pilot) – but then, just maybe there are middle managers out there who are looking for the opportunity to step up to a challenge; to make a difference to their organization and not spend their whole time simply as the bulldogs of business-as-usual.

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