Cynthia McCauleyOn-the-job experience is one of the richest sources of learning — but many employees don’t know what to learn or how to learn it. And often, bosses and talent managers struggle to give leaders the kinds of developmental assignments they need the most.

In her book Developmental Assignments: Creating Learning Experiences without Changing Jobs, CCL’s Cynthia McCauley breaks down on-the-job learning to help leaders know how to intentionally develop new skills, practice new behaviors and improve on weaknesses.

Those same strategies are addressed from the organizational perspective in McCauley’s new Webinar, Developmental Assignments: Strategies for Integrating Leadership Work and Learning. The Webinar, to be held live June 20, 2012 from 1-2 p.m. EST, includes specific strategies and practices as well as an overview of:

  • The kinds of developmental assignments that stimulate the most learning.
  • How organizations use existing assignments and create new ones for development.
  • What leaders need to know to pursue and shape their own development.

The companion book is full of assignments and is an excellent resource for staff and managers. It also includes cross-references to CCL’s assessment tools: 360 by Design, Executive Dimensions, Benchmarks, Prospector and Skillscope — perfect for targeting the development of specific competencies as a result of receiving feedback from those tools.

3 Facts about Leader Development

  1. Effective leaders continue to develop their repertoire of skills throughout their careers. To be effective in a wide variety of leadership roles and situations, individuals have to master new competencies. This development of a repertoire of skills is a gradual, continuous process.
  2. A significant part of this development occurs though practical experiences. Adults learn when their day-to-day responsibilities and challenges require it — and when they have the opportunity to engage in experiences, draw lessons and insights from those experiences and apply the new knowledge and skills to the next experience.
  3. The more varied the practical experiences, the greater the likelihood of developing a broad repertoire of skills. Leaders who continue to focus only on doing the work that they are already good at are less likely to broaden their capacity. Leaders who step into new situations and face challenges that call for untested abilities continue to develop their capacity and successfully take on higher levels of leadership responsibility.

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