Leaders in the middle tiers of an organization have never had it easy. And the stuttering economy of recent years has not helped. 

But mid-level managers are under the most pressure of all, have the worst work-life balance, and the least sense of job security.

If you’re leading in the middle zone, one of the best coping strategies is to take time to reflect. Yes, we know you are (incredibly) pressed for time, but reflection helps you see what you can control and where you should focus.

But try to step back from your frustrations, tensions, and roadblocks to ask yourself, What would be different if I could bring more agility, flexibility, strength and focus to my life?

As you consider the question, think about:

  • What you could accomplish at work
  • What goals you could set
  • How your personal life might be better
  • How your relationships could improve
  • How you would feel

Write down your answers, thoughts, and reactions — without editing or judging. When you’ve finished, can you think of one word or an image that bests describes the outcomes if you weren’t pulled and torn in so many directions? 

Looking back over your notes, what insights do you have? What motivates you most? What might you do differently?

Rather than accepting the status quo, consider the benefits to you and your organization if you make some changes.. Then, make a plan to learn new skills or try a different approach to your middle-zone challenges.

The Crucial Role of the Middle Manager

Skilled middle managers like you can play a key role in managing change and organizational transformation. You can facilitate two-way communications between leaders and the front line, and you can bring change to life. You play a key role in translating the objectives of senior managers into actions and motivating others. 

But to succeed, it’s important that you don’t ignore your health and well-being. As a mid-level leader, you must know that you are particularly at risk of suffering from work-related stress and burnout, and take steps to pause and reflect.

Learn more about how CCL can support talented mid-level leaders like you through our Leadership Development Program (LDP)®.

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