Middle leader professional development program
Best practice in design and delivery for leadership development in medicine
2 February 2022
The Middle Leader Program (MLP) brings best practice in design and delivery of leadership development programs to create a program that meets the needs of doctors currently working in middle leadership roles. The program brings highly relevant and practical knowledge and skills for effective middle leadership, within a carefully designed learning journey spread across four live webinar modules, a live tutorial, and concluding with a one-on-one coaching session with the program director.
The MLP focuses on core skills and practises to support middle leaders1 facing the challenges specific to their role – caught in the middle between the more junior staff and direct reports, and the senior leaders ‘above’. Middle leaders must navigate a complex and often challenging dynamic of stretched resources and different perspectives of people with varying amounts of influence on decisions and resource allocation. The program focuses on:
- becoming more self-aware
- increasing personal resilience
- improving learning agility
- communication skills
- influencing others
- thinking and acting systemically (see 1).
The learning design of the program ensures that this content can be understood, discussed and debated, and applied immediately to current work contexts. The learning design provides participants with a highly personalised, interactive, and practical learning and development experience in a small group of doctors holding similar roles. The elements include:
- modular design (the program consists of a series of live webinars, a tutorial and coaching session delivered 1-2 weeks apart to provide space and opportunity for application and reflection)
- action learning program (a focus on learning skills to apply immediately to address current challenges)
- personal action plans (designing personalised development plans around goals and actions that are relevant and meaningful to you and your effectiveness in your current role)
- experiential learning through small group exercises and skills practise
- highly interactive webinar format using small and large group discussion forums
- reflective questions for discussion – connecting core content in the program (central leadership concepts and skills) with current challenges participants are facing in their work right now.
Research in professional development and adult learning shows the importance of peer learning in these programs, and the MLP provides dedicated time and various forums to support this.
Participants will bring current challenges they are facing in their leadership role and work and reflect on this in small group breakout rooms as the program develops. Linking concepts and problem-solving, planning ways forward, and sharing this thinking with others is a reflective and communicative process that will help clarify and cement thinking and planning and increase motivation and accountability.
The personal action plans will focus on:
- personal leadership goals, to increase breadth and depth of current leadership effectiveness in middle leader roles
- a professional network health check – to support career planning, identifying roles models, mentors, and allies
- a holistic leadership plan which considers important elements of work-life balance, including family, community, career, and self.
Altogether, the MLP provides an expertly crafted and curated program designed to support busy middle leaders find and develop further expertise in their leadership role to apply to current challenges and to develop a stronger and clearer sense of identity and purpose. This is such an important anchor for navigating complex roles, relationships, and decisions.
Click here for more information and to book.
 Leading from the Middle: 3 steps for unlocking your leadership potential. Center for Creative Leadership 2018.