Professional Development Through Challenging Assignments. Source: Center for Professional Development When it comes to professional development, there are multitudes of ways to enhance your skills.
Learning from other people, enduring hardships, structured training, off-the-job experiences, and challenging assignments are five impactful ways to prepare you for what’s next. Of the five, working on challenging assignments will be the skill builder that will steepen your learning curve and best prepare you for the next step on your career ladder. Challenging assignments are the best teacher because of the following: Developmental Assignments: Creating Learning Experiences Without Changing Jobs (CCL): Cynthia D. McCauley: 9781882197910: Amazon.com: Books.
Make Time for Growth Assignments in Your Daily Work. Your job probably includes some responsibility for researching new trends or dreaming up innovative ideas.
Lucky you! Alas, if you’re like most people, you probably never feel like you have enough time to devote to those important projects. Often the activities with the most learning opportunity get squeezed out of the schedule by project meetings, administrative work, e-mail, and other day-to-day items. Of course you need to set aside some time to simply do those tasks. But if you think more strategically about the way you tackle the creative growth assignments, you can find the time to work on them and increase your personal fulfillment — as well as your value to your firm.
Step 1: Find the Growth Opportunities. Accept a Challenge. 15 Experiences That Help You Learn to Lead - Center for Creative Leadership. With seemingly endless lists of competencies and too many books, blogs and experts to count, how can you tailor your leadership development?
One approach is to use experience as a starting point. CCL’s Lessons of Experience research (involving 40 years and several countries in various regions around the world) has found that there are 15 types of experiences that teach valuable leadership lessons: Bosses and superiors. You experienced a leader as a positive or as a negative role model, coach, teacher or catalyst who accelerated your development.Career setback. You experienced an unforeseen and unwanted block to your career progression, caused by another person or event, such as being fired, passed over for promotion or being placed in a job that was a poor fit.Coursework and training.
Using this list, you can think about what you’ve already experienced and clarify what you learned along the way. 5 Job Challenges for Leader Development - Leading Effectively: Official Blog of the Center for Creative LeadershipLeading Effectively: Official Blog of the Center for Creative Leadership. 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. Stretch Assignments that Develop Strategic, Interpersonal, and Personal Skills. Given that most development occurs through experience (McCall, Lombardo, & Morrison, 1988), stretch assignments can provide a great vehicle for driving employee learning and/or leadership development.
Stretch assignments are essentially short-term projects or assignments that provide unique and challenging experiences for the purpose of developing employee/leader skills and abilities. Although the use of on-the-job development is clearly on the rise, it is often applied without consideration of the necessary planning and support mechanisms. The first thing to keep in mind if you’re thinking about leveraging stretch assignments for developmental purposes is the common-sense notion that different stretch assignments develop different abilities (e.g., public speaking skills cannot be developed through writing policy statements or crunching numbers).
Because of this, it is important to first identify the specific skill(s) to be developed. Strategic Skills Interpersonal Skills Going Forward… A Guide to Cross-functional Leadership Developmental Moves. Here's an edited update of one of the very first posts I wrote for Great Leadership back when I had four readers:In many companies, rising high potential leaders are usually extremely bright and have produced outstanding results.
However, their experience is often very narrow. Many of are promoted within a single function or business, and as a result, are not prepared to be successful global general managers or business unit presidents. Providing opportunities for new job changes across functions, businesses, or geographies is a way to accelerate the cross-functional capability in our future senior leaders. These new challenges also develop critical leadership competencies, such as leading change, influence, strategic thinking, and adaptability. While job changes can be a powerful catalyst for development, they can also lead to the derailment of a promising high potential leader. There are inherent risks and pitfalls that can be avoided or need to be managed. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 7. 8. 9. Making the Most of Developmental Assignments.
Home > Toolkit > How Leaders Learn > Development Q&A with Author Cynthia McCauley By Don Jacobson In her book Developmental Assignments: Creating Learning Experiences without Changing Jobs, Cynthia McCauley provides a superb framework to help leaders and aspiring leaders think clearly about how to use work assignments to develop leadership skills.
McCauley, who teaches leadership at the Center for Creative Leadership recently discussed her book in a Q&A with GovLeaders.org. GovLeaders:In order to prepare for the retirement of the Baby Boomers, many government agencies are focusing a lot of energy these days on leadership development--especially training and mentoring programs. Questions That Facilitate Learning from a Development Assignment.