Most mergers fail. While there are some winners and some losers in any merger, they are bad news for most middle managers. Given that, the middle managers at Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank that want to survive a coming merger should 1) Get a head start, 2) Manage their message, 3) Set direction and build their team, and 4) Sustain momentum and deliver results.

We ran this program with one middle-manager at a company being acquired. He went to the merger integrators with his plan well in advance of the merger. Even though his was the smaller of the two groups being merged. They put him in charge of the new, combined group because he was the only one with structured, disciplined plan and the leverage and confidence to deliver it.

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