The 10 most valuable criteria to look for in leadership stretch opportunities

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Kiddy & Partners

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The 70-20-10 rule of leadership development highlights the importance of leaders learning from experience, but on-the-job learning is one of the most under-utilised areas in leadership development.

At Kiddy & Partners, our business psychologists use a structured process which enables leaders to maximise their learning from experience and apply those learnings to enhance performance.

Criteria to look for in leadership stretch opportunities 

1. Unfamiliar responsibilities    

requires leaders to initiate new ways of coping with problems, recognise when existing approaches are inadequate, and perform in front of new stakeholders.

2. Creating change: New directions    

requires starting a new business unit, making strategic changes, implementing a reorganisation, or reacting to a change in the business environment.

3. Creating change: Inherited problems    

requires addressing problems created by a predecessor. 

4. Creating change: Problems with employees    

requires managing direct reports who lack experience, are incompetent, or resistant.

5. High level of responsibility: High visibility    

involves significant responsibility through clear deadlines, pressure from senior management, high visibility, and responsibility for key, high-stake decisions.

6. High level of responsibility:  Scale and scope    

involves responsibility for a wide breadth of significant responsibilities (e.g., large budgets, significant number of people, diverse functions).

7. Working across boundaries: Influencing without authority

requires gaining cooperation from people over whom you have little formal authority, such as peers and higher-level management, understanding that influencing laterally is just as important as directing line reports.

8. Working across boundaries: Representing the organisation externally    

requires managing and responding to external factors that impact the business (e.g., having to coordinate with suppliers or contractors). Requires negotiation and influence skills to build collaborative relationships.

9. Managing others: Managing work group diversity

requires leading a diverse group or team of individuals, e.g. across different functions, to achieve collaboration

10. Managing others: Working across cultures     

involves interaction with those from different cultural and/or ethnic backgrounds. Ability to prevent and/or manage conflict and use difference to stimulate creativity.

Kiddy’s Assign process helps identify the optimal stretch opportunities for each leader, based on their specific development needs and strategic business needs, then provides the scaffolding to accelerate on-the-job learning and create ‘ready now’ leaders. 

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