5 Job Challenges for Leader Development

Need a change in your career?  Accept a new job challenge.

Job assignments are one of the oldest and most important forms of leader development. It can give you the opportunity to learn by doing, and more importantly, allow you to grow as a leader.  But not every job can help develop leadership, however. It must be something that stretches you, pushes you out of your comfort zone, and requires you to think and act differently.

Research into what makes a job developmental has identified five broad sources of challenge related to learning:

  1. Job transitions. A change in work role – whether change in content, level of responsibility or location – requires you to handle responsibilities that are in some way unfamiliar and where the usual routines and behaviors are no longer adequate.
  2. Creating change. Jobs that require you to create change call for actions and decisions in the face of uncertainty and ambiguity. You are responsible for new directions, must address inherited problems and face problems with employees who are dealing with change.
  3. High levels of responsibility. Assignments with high levels of responsibility have greater breadth, visibility and complexity; they also expose you to pressure and high-stakes decisions.
  4. Managing boundaries. Most leaders are accustomed to managing downward. In situations where you must work across lateral boundaries your new challenge is to work with people over whom you have no formal or direct authority.
  5. Dealing with diversity. Most organizations are experiencing rapid and substantial increases in diversity, not only in the domestic workforce but also in the demands of operating in the global arena. This requires you to learn to work with and manage people from different cultures or countries as well as with people of both genders and of different racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Finding a job that has leadership development potential can be difficult. What are some ways you found challenging job assignments that allow you to learn and grow as a leader? 

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About Leading Effectively Staff

The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that accelerates strategy and business results by unlocking the leadership potential of individuals and organizations. Founded in 1970, CCL offers an array of research-based programs, products and services for leaders at all levels. Ranked among the world's Top 10 providers of executive education by Bloomberg BusinessWeek and the Financial Times, CCL is headquartered in Greensboro, NC, with offices in Colorado Springs, CO; San Diego, CA; Brussels; Moscow; Singapore; New Delhi - NCR, India and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Its work is supported by 500 faculty members and staff.
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4 Responses to 5 Job Challenges for Leader Development

  1. avatar Barbara augusta says:

    In this world of matrix reporting, constant pressure to be competitive yet effective the demand for leadership training is critical

  2. Great post! I agree with Barbara, pressure to be competitive and effective at the same time, training leaders is incredibly important!

  3. One of most concise impactful ways of describing and illustrating what management is and it reuire training leaders. Thanks for sharing.
    Discovering the leader in you

  4. In this blog given information about leadership development is very informative and useful. All information is valuable and gives lot of knowledge about leadership. Thank you for sharing such valuable information.

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