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Develop the Leadership Skills of Your Middle Managers

Help managers successfully navigate the squeeze between hands-on management and leadership and put the organization’s strategy into action.

  • Middle managers are often squeezed between introductory management and senior leadership tasks, leading to poor team and organizational performance.
  • Despite their critical role, middle managers face significant challenges including power struggles, a desire to stick to the status quo, and stress, anxiety, and depression.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

While the squeeze between traditional people management and senior-level leadership is one of the most notable challenges that middle managers face, effectively managing this squeeze is also the most important skill to master, as it will allow them to effectively put the organization’s strategy into action.

Impact and Result

  • An effective middle manager development program should continue to strengthen traditional “management skills” and start to build senior leadership skills.
  • Middle management programs should focus on strengthening skills in talent management and people development and begin to zero in on skills in change management and strategic vision.

Develop the Leadership Skills of Your Middle Managers Research & Tools

2. Assess the current state of your middle manager development initiatives

Assess the effectiveness of existing initiatives to identify gaps and establish goals and metrics for the manager development program.

3. Design your manager development program

Plan development program initiatives, create a manager learning path, and build content using McLean & Company’s Manager Training Decks.

4. Implement the program and measure success

Evaluate and finalize program roll-out method.

Workshop: Develop the Leadership Skills of Your Middle Managers

Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Define Manager Expectations

The Purpose

  • Design a middle manager development program to support manager expectations.
  • Evaluate existing development programs.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Consistent expectations for managers established.
  • Inventory of existing development programs recorded.




Determine manager expectations.

  • Established organizational expectations for all managers.

Identify existing manager development initiatives in your organization.

  • Created an inventory of existing development initiatives.

Module 2: Audit Current Development Initiatives, and Identify Future Opportunities

The Purpose

Use insights from data collected and current performance achievements to identify program metrics and initiatives.

Key Benefits Achieved

Gaps and goals of current manager expectations evaluated.




Generate insights from qualitative and quantitative data collected.

  • Analyzed data to identify gaps and set goals.

Set program metrics.


Assess whether manager expectations are being met.

  • Determined whether expectations are being met or not.

Determine whether to stop, start, or continue development initiatives.

Module 3: Design Your Manager Development Program

The Purpose

  • Design training and learning paths.
  • Finalize the program to begin implementation.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Learning paths for managers designed.
  • Manager development program roll-out plan created.




Plan out training logistics.


Create a manager learning path.

  • Established a manager learning path using a blended approach and assigned accountabilities.

Assign learning path accountabilities.


Evaluate and finalize program roll-out method.

  • Devised a program roll-out plan.

About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 7 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Establish middle manager expectations in your organization
  • Call #1 - Confirm manager expectations for your organization and ensure that critical components are being addressed.

Guided Implementation #2 - Assess the current state of your middle manager development initiatives
  • Call #1 - Analyze data findings to determine gaps in the existing program or initiatives.
  • Call #2 - Set goals and metrics for your new manager development program.

Guided Implementation #3 - Design your manager development program
  • Call #1 - Evaluate whether current initiatives are being met and determine how to incorporate or modify existing initiatives.
  • Call #2 - Craft a manager learning path.

Guided Implementation #4 - Implement the program and measure success
  • Call #1 - Determine an appropriate manager development program roll-out and communication strategy.
  • Call #2 - Analyze data to determine program strengths and areas of improvement.