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The Importance of Leadership Development For Mid-Level Leaders

Source | LinkedIn | Steven Howard | Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders — Leadership Coach | Facilitator | Author

Mid-level management jobs and leadership positions are extremely challenging.

Mid-level leaders are charged with interacting with their direct reports and peers to remove obstacles and provide solutions for anything adversely impacting a strategic initiative. They are typically empowered to make decisions but are often afraid of failure and of being second-guessed by their managers and higher-echelon leaders.

They are expected to achieve results through others, but often lack the requisite skills in people motivation, engagement, feedback, and development. They also have tremendous difficulties in communicating unpopular programs and decisions and in aligning team members with a newly formed strategic vision or change initiatives.

Additionally, mid-level leaders are usually best placed to orchestrate and implement change. For, as Rosabeth Moss Kanter noted in her Harvard Business Review article The Middle Manager as Innovator, in July/August 2004, mid-level leaders and managers “have their finger on the pulse of the operation and can conceive, suggest, and set in motion new ideas that top managers have not thought of.”

Despite these challenges, mid-level leaders and managers are “the glue between strategy and execution.

Leading Execution. Producing Results.

Without strong and skilled mid-level leadership in place, your corporate and divisional strategies will likely to go off track, with results falling short of desired goals.

Amazingly, a recent DDI study showed that only 10% of middle managers felt well-prepared for the challenges their businesses were facing. Even more concerning, only 8% felt that driving execution was one of their personal strengths.

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