CCL has been studying leaders and their development for 40 years. Many of our practices have become “tried-and-true” ways to develop leaders and leadership. Here, we highlight ideas, strategies and tactics that we have developed and refined over many years and by working with many thousands of clients.

Learning on the Job

It’s no secret that work assignments — whether from a job shift or from taking on new challenges in your current role — build skills. But what experiences teach what lessons?

CCL studies have shown that key lessons are learned from four types of job assignments:

From an increase in scope:

  • To manage and motivate subordinates
  • To develop others
  • What it means to be an effective manager and leader
  • The technical aspects of running a business
  • How to build relationships with superiors and peers
  • Operational execution
  • Team management

From responsibilities for creating change:

  • Confidence
  • To be innovative and entrepreneurial
  • To manage change
  • Strategic skills
  • Communication skills
  • Enhanced self-awareness

From a significant project or cross-organizational team:

  • To manage those who report directly to a manager (with project management)
  • Technical skills
  • Project-management skills
  • How to influence without authority

From an international assignment:

  • Cultural adaptability
  • Strategic skills
  • Valuing diversity

This list is drawn from “Learning on the Job” by CCL’s Ellen Van Velsor, published in The ASTD Leadership Handbook. For more ideas on how to create and go after the job assignments that you need to develop your leadership skills, order CCL’s Developmental Assignments: Creating Learning Experiences without Changing Jobs.

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