Breaking news: A majority of bosses have finally determined who is to blame for their organizations’ poor performance. Getting to the answer wasn’t easy. Lots of surveys were taken, and thousands of people were interviewed. And the findings were conclusive: The people to blame for your problems are (drum roll…….) the next people down the org chart.


The data is so irrefutable one leader coined the phrase, “The Next Level Down Syndrome.”  Consider these painful symptoms:

–          When bosses huddle together, look over their shoulder and gossip, “Why don’t they get it?”

–          “How come my people aren’t more productive?” (Psssst…has anybody ever gotten ill when you hear someone refer to their team as “my people”?)

–          “Wait until the numbers come in at the end of the quarter, and then we’ll make strategic adjustments.” (A confession of who’s really doing the work.)


(Of course, as you go deeper in an organization, the syndrome mutates into a new form: “The Next Level Up” is where all our problems are.)


No doubt, it’s a powerful force when a leadership team of 20 is aligned, communicating and trusting each other. But the real might within the organization – the real magic of transformation – happens when that leadership team is equipped to move from bossing to leading. Telling to discovering. Silence to acknowledging. Reprimanding to celebrating. Waiting to action.


20 people holding hands while 10,000 are freaked out about the direction of the company and the lack of information will never enable an organization to please its customer.


Before your team leaves your meeting, ask the question: What is everyone’s best strategy to ensure the next level down is aligned with and owns the decisions we just made?

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