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The New Reality of Mid-Level Leadership - Executive Summary

To gain a better understanding of how mid-level leaders feel about their jobs, the skills required for success, their level of engagement and loyalty, and their plans for the future, DDI conducted a global survey of 2,001 mid-level managers in January-February 2010.

Some of the results in the report include:

Mid-level leaders don’t feel they have the leadership skills they need to succeed.

  • Only 10 percent of respondents feel “well-prepared” to meet the top challenge they think they’ll face in the next two years. 

There’s a disconnect between what mid-level managers are—and what they need to be.

  • Mid-level leadership roles require a sophisticated skill set, yet our survey found that mid-level leaders operate tactically.

Companies are doing more with less—and mid-level leaders are feeling the stress.

  • Nearly 70 percent of mid-level leaders report that their work stress has increased in the past 18 months. The top factors leading to stress are increased personal workload (24 percent) and increased pressure to succeed (22 percent).

Empowerment and teamwork keep mid-level leaders engaged.

  • 52 percent of mid-level leaders said their engagement level was higher now compared to 24 months ago, 30 percent said it was the same, and 12 percent said it was lower. The biggest drivers of engagement were the ability to make decisions (74 percent), trust (68 percent), and teamwork (65 percent).

Download the report, The New Reality of Mid-lLvel Leadership.

For a regional perspective, read A Closer Look at Middle Managers in South East Asia.

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