Research Finds Mid-Level Leaders’ Competency Levels Fall Short

Minneapolis — July 25

New research from PDI Ninth House, a Korn/Ferry company, shows that mid-level leaders are falling short in several critical competencies — and these failures can have a significant impact on business results.

In the research, bosses rated the current skill level of mid-level leaders, who are defined as managers of managers, based on several competencies. The bosses ranked them as excelling in just two competencies: “drive for results” and “customer focus.”

Bosses ranked the mid-level leaders as falling short in the following competency areas:

• Structuring the work/execution
• Analysis/judgment
• Relationships
• Influence
• Engage and inspire
• Building talent

The research also showed that first-level leaders ranked higher than mid-level leaders in several competency areas, including “engage and inspire,” “build relationships,” “influence” and “execution.”

Among the key factors for mid-level leaders’ success is letting go of select behaviors that helped them succeed in their previous positions, the study suggests. For example, too much attention to detail in mid-level leader positions becomes a derailer, while it may have been rewarded in previous roles.

Source: PDI Ninth House, a Korn/Ferry company