Strive for higher levels of successBesides polishing up their communication skills, workers gunning for management positions should also position themselves for challenges. Let the boss know you'd like to stretch yourself a little.
According to PDI surveys, success at certain challenges predicts success at higher levels of responsibility. PDI surveys thousands of leaders per year, from first-level supervisors to senior executives.
"We have found that there are some kinds of experiences that successful leaders have in their career that are more developmentally potent," says Crandell.
"If people can handle those well, they develop the kinds of skills that help them succeed, not just in their current role but at subsequent levels as well," he says.
Ambitious workers who desire to move up should let their superiors know -- through their actions. Start by going to management and asking for further education or further development.
"Always look to go above and beyond by either asking to be part of project teams or by taking on assignments that stretch the individual's capabilities and have them learn new things," says Avramidis.
"What happens then is, although they are doing a specific job, all of the extracurricular activities are preparing them for the next step.
From lower to upper echelons, supervisor to CEO
Cross-functional experiences that are prevalent for first-level leader success include:
- Standardizing processes and procedures within or across organizational units.
- Improving the quality of products or services.
- Managing projects and teams that include participants from a number of units or functions throughout the organization.
Challenging experiences that are prevalent for mid-level leader success include:
- Involvement in turning around a struggling organizational unit.
- Helping to negotiate a labor agreement.
- Helping an employee overcome performance difficulties.
High-risk experiences that are prevalent for director- or executive-level success include:
- Resolving a crisis situation requiring immediate action.
- Restructuring of business investments and/or debt.
- Starting up a new department, division or function.
"If they simply choose to do their job and wait for someone to just come tap them on the shoulder and move them up, it's not likely to happen," he says.