Develop Yourself on the Job!

Job assignments play a central role in the development of successful leaders. Cynthia McCauley in Developmental Assignments (2006), offers 10 characteristics of assignments that cause learning:

  • Unfamiliar responsibilities
  • Starting something new or making strategic changes
  • Fixing problems created by someone else
  • Dealing with employees who lack experience, are incompetent or are resistant to change
  • High stakes (tight deadlines, pressure from above, high visibility, responsibility for critical decisions)
  • Managing work that is broad in scope or large in size
  • Managing the interface with important groups outside the organization
  • Influence without authority
  • Working across cultures
  • Being responsible for the work of people of both genders and different racial and ethnic backgrounds.