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.


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.

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.


There is a race to provide exceptional health care with an emphasis on continuing to improve patient satisfaction and care. As indicated by consistent health care industry trends and pressures, like meeting Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HCAHPS) goals, many are enraptured by the growing need to hire more health care professionals while providing patients with the best care. In the midst of these gravitational forces, there is a struggle between the need to fill open positions and holding out for the most talented individuals. This struggle is not easy.