Transitions in Leadership Experience: How Experiences Shape Leadership at Every Level

These key on-the-job experiences shape leadership development and prepare ascending leaders for successful transitions.

Multiple studies have found that on-the-job leadership experiences account for as much as 70 percent of a leader’s development. This reinforces the importance of systematically measuring and understanding leadership experiences in development and succession planning. Research also shows that leadership skills do not change at the same rate, although overall leadership skill requirements increase as individuals move up in an organization.

Key leadership experiences occur as individuals move from first-level to mid-level leader; mid-level to business unit leader; business-unit leader to senior executive, and senior executive to C-Suite. Understanding these experiences can help leaders and organizations prepare for the next level, and identify which types of experiences are essential and expected as they move up the leadership pipeline.


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