There are too many people who don’t like their jobs. Almost every day is a bad day. This increases stress and anxiety, which has a negative impact on physical, mental and emotional health. In many cases, these people bring stress and negativity into their homes, which negatively impacts their family and friends. If you don’t like your job, if you’re frequently experiencing bad days, if you feel trapped in your job, this post is for you.

Managers at all levels are being asked to do more with fewer resources while coping with uncertainty and a rapid and constant pace of change in the global marketplace. This is especially true for the mid-level managers, whose role no longer entails issuing instructions to subordinates. In today’s flat organizations, middle managers now have fewer direct reports, are asked to do more, and play a critical role in helping the organization execute strategies and achieve its desired business outcomes. 

Consider these seven effective strategies to invest in your mid-level managers.


Many organizations have a succession planning process for top executives, but they overlook the lower levels. A robust system would identify entry-level employees who have the talent to be great supervisors, supervisors who can become great department heads, and so on. You’d wind up with a vertical slice of high potential future leaders. Unfortunately, most organizations don’t invest much to identify and develop mid-level managers. The goal of this post is to help you realize the magnitude of the opportunity here.


The first time my leader asked me this question, my answer was simple:

Avoid buses.

Not exactly his point. His point, as he explained it, was this:

Unexpected things happen….good and bad:

  • You get sick and can’t work.
  • You get an offer you can’t refuse for another job.
  • You win the lottery.
  • You get hit by a bus.

Realistically, you can’t avoid them all. So you’d better plan and prepare.

I wish everyone making leadership development decisions could hear this observation I recently heard from a client:

“I think the whole approach of saying, ‘We’re going to develop your weak natural behaviors,’ is where all the leadership development dollars are going down the toilet.”

Let that soak in.