Inclusive Solutions For Developing Middle Managers - Tonie Leatherberry

Insights from Leaders
2 min readFeb 22, 2021

“Every leader needs to allow their employees the opportunity to take risks. In order to truly be a ‘servant-leader’ it is important to give your employees the space and resources they need to take those risks. The number one thing which holds people back is not being given that lee-way early on in order to be successful.

“As an example - let's say we are sending an employee from the US to Japan to be the manager of a certain department or company. Some might hesitate to do so. Instead of fearing that risk, the better option would be to have a risk mitigation plan in place. We will never be able to develop successful leaders if we are not willing to take those calculated bets and allow unique opportunities to deserving people. If we don't give such people these opportunities in the first place, we automatically reach the conclusion that they are not ready for such responsibilities.

“A lot of it is leading by example. Having your own suite of advisors as elite as a senior leader, encouraging and motivating a kick in the butt when you need (in a loving way).

“It’s really based on trust. Even at the mid-level managers' level, it’s based on trust. If I trust someone and I feel they have my best interests at heart, I will always be willing to accept any critical feedback that they’re going to give me. But, if I haven’t built a trusting foundation I am not going to have a team that wants to follow me.”

(Tonie joined Cody Harton, Diverse Recruiting Experts Founder to discuss the role of senior leaders and their duties to their employees below them.)

Tonie Leatherberry, a passionate leader, and ELC chair member, firmly believes in the role that senior leaders have in developing the next generation of leaders. To create strong, upcoming leaders, senior executives must act as servant leaders and give younger professionals the tools and opportunities to grow and take on greater responsibility. If those opportunities are not given, young professionals may never get the proper experience to be successful.



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