Lead Effectively from the Middle

A challenging double act

The critical role of middle managers

In this time of distributed teams and hybrid workplaces, as the distances increase between individual employees and different organizational layers, companies depend on the unique capabilities of middle managers to keep everyone connected.

Therefore, middle managers need the capabilities to effectively navigate and reconcile the needs and demands of their direct reports and superiors.

To do that successfully, they need to acquire both followership skills that enable them to influence upwards effectively (their bosses) and leadership skills to help effectively lead their direct reports, which themselves are managers.

"Middle managers are the engine of the business, the cogs that make things work, the glue that keeps companies together."

Zahira Jaser, editor of "The Connecting Leader"

Followership & Leadership

Followership capabilities for middle managers

Followership skills are those capabilities a middle manager needs to effectively influence their superiors and connect them with the organization below.

Influence Others

Persuade others; build consensus through give and take; gain cooperation from others to obtain information and accomplish goals

Foster Collaboration

Work relentlessly to break down silos; get people to work together to solve customers’ and the organization’s issues.

Share the vision

Connects their team to the company’s overarching vision; fosters a commitment to do what’s needed to help the enterprise succeed

Enable Dialogue

Help people talk more effectively together by fostering and engaging them through dialogue.

Build strong relationships

Build and maintain deep-rooted, trusting, and authentic relationships with direct reports, peers and superiors.

Leadership capabilities for middle managers

Middle managers also a new set of leadership skills to enable them to lead and empower their direct reports, who themselves as managers – a very different challenge from being a first-line manager who organizes and oversees the work of individual contributors.

Leader as Coach

Ask questions instead of providing answers; facilitate their development instead of dictating what has to be done

Delegate Effectively

Define tasks correctly; select the right individual; explain required results; consider resources required; agree on deadlines

Balance Leadership & Management

Effectively balance day-to-day management versus leadership.

Manage People

Know how to build a high-performing team ; help your people to come together as a team and enable them to work together successfully

Develop & Execute Strategy

Formulate and execute a departmental strategy that dovetails with the business strategy & goals.

Design A Habit-Building Program For Your Mid-level Leaders

Middle managers training with Upwardley

Build the Habits to
Lead Effectively From the Middle.

Enable their double act

Help your middle managers acquire both the followership and leadership skills they need to be the most effective connecting leader they can be.

Continuous & Self-directed

Delivered as a continuous, self-paced, and self-direct development program. 


A transformative experience that combines our specially developed online classes for middle managers with contextualization exercises and habit-building loops to help them turn what they learn into lasting habits

Coaching & Live Sessions

Includes individual coaching and live online sessions to help your middle managers deepen their learning.

Important note: The program also enables your middle managers to refresh and strengthen those essential leadership capabilities that are foundational to any manager’s and leader’s effectiveness. 

(Learn more about Upwardley’s Essential Habits for the Modern Leader)

Design A Habit-Building Program
For Your Mid-level Leaders

Middle managers training the Upwardley way

Upwardley is not an LMS or e-learning platform:

Upwardley is a leadership habit-building platform, which brings together our specially developed online classes with contextualization exercises, individual coaching, online group sessions, and habit-building loops.

We go beyond knowledge transfer and provide your leaders with a truly transformational experience that helps them learn and adopt the habits to become better leaders.

Seeing is believing. Book a demo.


55 page Street, #514, San Francisco, CA 94102


Guide on how to build leadership habits

Get our new guide on leadership habit-building

Download this guide now for free to get:

  • An introduction to the theory behind leadership habit-building
  • A deep understanding of the critical success factors for an effective leadership habit-building approach
  • A step-by-step overview of how leadership habit-building creates better leaders

Maintain and Build Trust


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