Yes, says The Center for Creative Leadership. Their research found that a variety of challenging assignments contribute greatly to the building and seasoning of new and emerging leaders.
However, not all challenges are equal. The ones that will enhance leadership skills are those that:
- Require working with new people or high variety or time pressures.
- Call for influencing people with no or limited direct authority or control.
- Involve building a team, starting something from scratch or solving a problem.
- Demand a “take charge” attitude, quick learning, coping with uncertain situations.
Choose Your Challenges Wisely
It’s not necessary to change one’s job to build leadership capabilities. Rather be on the lookout for or request these kinds of assignments, projects or tasks. They are developmental. In other words, they will help you learn, grow and lead more effectively.
- Be part of a task force on a pressing business problem
- Handle a negotiation with a customer
- Present proposal report to top management
- Work short periods in other units or departments
- Plan an off site, meeting or conference
- Serve on a new project / product review committee
- Manage the visit of a VIP
- Go off-site to troubleshoot problems
- Take a board position at a community organization
- Be part of the company’s trade show booth team
- Redesign a work process with another function
- Resolve conflict among warring subordinates
- Take over a troubled project and get it back on track
- Manage projects requiring coordination across the organization
- Supervise assigned office space in a new building
- Spend a day with customers and write report
- Do postmortem on a failed project
- Evaluate the impact of training
- Write a proposal for a new system, product, etc.
- Interview outsiders on their view of the organization
Pick one or two of the above professional development assignments that would help you develop your leadership capabilities now.
Career Success Tip
You learn on the job every day. But are you learning what you really need to learn to develop your leadership and advance your career? It’s up to you to make sure you’re continually improving, growing and learning. It’s up to you to take charge of your professional development.
Do you want to develop Career Smarts?
- For more resources, see the Library topic Career Management.
- Start with the Career Success System.
- Sign up for Career Power: 101 success tips.
- Fast track your career. Be part of a Success Team.
- Need a speaker? Get the Edge Keynotes-webinars-workshops.
- Find career and leadership boosters in the Smart Moves Blog.
- Copyright © 2011 Marcia Zidle career and leadership coach.