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Managers who are sandwiched between ensuring operational tasks get done and understanding corporate strategic priorities are misunderstood when it comes to their importance to an organization. This group is likely to have some management education compared to first level supervisors who are often promoted into a leadership role based on some type of technical abilities. Middle managers who lack formal management education probably have some natural skills and talents related to being able to both oversee task results and understand and communicate big picture thinking.  When considering the leadership development needs for this level within an organization it is important to recognize there may be this mixture of formal business or management education along side those with some acumen without any traditional degree. With this mix of background and experience development efforts may do well to focus on agility, discovering and applying each individual’s strengths, emotional intelligence, more advanced project management skill, and critical and strategic thinking. Each of these capabilities helps the mid-level leader bridge the gap between strategic planning and organizational management, and operational day-to-day implementation of tactical action plans, projects, and functional programs.