Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

News Feed Item

Business Leaders Unprepared for Complex Management Positions

New Research From DDI Reveals Leaders Want More Guidance During Job Transitions But the Last Person They Ask for It Is Their Boss

PITTSBURGH, PA--(Marketwired - June 26, 2014) - Major business events like the recovery from the global recession, increased corporate reorganizations and a looming two-decade retirement wave of baby boomers create significant career opportunities for millions of Millennials and Gen Xers, yet new trend research from Development Dimensions International (DDI) titled, "Leaders in Transition: Progressing Along a Precarious Path," questions whether this new generation of leaders is prepared for new, demanding management responsibilities.

The survey examined 618 individual contributor and manager transitions from multiple perspectives. Participants ranged in age from 25 to 61-or-over and 44 percent were females. High-potentials accounted for 41 percent of those surveyed.

"According to the research, transitioning leaders want and need more guidance than they're getting, but surprisingly, turning to their bosses for it is the last resort," said Evan Sinar, Ph.D., study co-author and DDI Chief Scientist and Director, Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research.

Instead, respondents noted that they seek counsel from colleagues and peers (58 percent), family and friends (46 percent), mentors (32 percent) and even direct reports (38 percent) first. "More and more, career decisions are being viewed as life decisions and, therefore, transitioning leaders are turning to personal networks like they do for other important life milestones and decisions," Sinar noted. 

Another top worry is dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity, as a result of the need for high-risk decisions, navigating organizational and external politics and representing the corporation. The study also reveals that younger leaders in transition have similar stresses -- suggesting that they want a map for survival so they don't get voted off the island. Sinar added, "They want answers now to address career growth issues much earlier on the career path, so they're not still confronting them at the executive level."

Transitioning Leaders Want More Help than They're Getting

The path to the executive level used to be via the corporate ladder. Yet today, career tracks and transitions are no longer vertical, but more like intricate jungle gyms with a series of lateral and frequent steps to result in ultimate succession to leadership. The study shows that leaders are unsure about their career paths. Thirty percent want a cleaner separation between old and new responsibilities and an additional 42 percent say they want a more structured development plan to assure steadier footing in their new roles. Thirty-one percent asked for training to strengthen interpersonal and leadership skills.

In addition, each career transition presents a new web of challenges. Respondents cited that when moving into their first leadership position, strategic thinking (30 percent) and creating networks (19 percent) were essential skills. Operational leaders reported that skills to engage and inspire employees (39 percent) and get work done through others (24 percent) were beneficial in their transitions. Strategic leaders reported benefitting most from skills that would help them navigate organizational politics (27 percent) and manage high-risk decisions (31 percent).

"Nothing is more daunting to a leader in a new role than realizing they don't have the skills necessary to perform well," emphasized Sinar. "Past experience doesn't guarantee future achievement when new jobs require new skills."

Give Them Choice, Quality Feedback and Clear Expectations or They'll Likely Quit

When forced to switch roles, the research showed that transitioning leaders were three times more likely to be dissatisfied in their new positions and more than two times more inclined to consider quitting. Surprise also contributes to transition satisfaction. Respondents who did not anticipate a job-switch were 80 percent "highly satisfied," compared with 66 percent for those who knew change was coming. Assessments are another source of frustration. Eighty-five percent of respondents are given either written assessment results without the benefits of feedback about their results, or no diagnostic assessment at all, leaving them less satisfied with their jobs because this approach left them with negative opinions about the insights and little direction about how to use them.

High Potentials Are at High Risk

High-potential leaders find themselves in even more of a predicament. Compared to their colleagues, high potentials make more transitions of greater complexity and more is expected of them. In fact, they are almost 10 times as likely to move out-of-country and want more, not less, guidance and instruction. Because their new and former managers overestimate the leader's ability to make a transition, they under deliver on mentoring them in their new roles. When we asked what would have helped them the most, almost half the high potentials surveyed said a more structured development plan.

The Guidance Dilemma

A shift in the role of HR could greatly improve the goals and design of leadership development initiatives. HR must anticipate and interpret talent needs and trends in order to create programs that focus on top skills. "Also, organizations need to start the development of leaders earlier and ensure a mix of learning alternatives and resources that transitioning leaders can draw upon as they encounter new challenges," said Matt Paese, Ph.D., study co-author and DDI Vice President, Executive Succession and Development. "This includes formal learning, coaching, mentoring and purposeful networking to cultivate a broad arsenal of leadership support mechanisms. When formal programs to facilitate leadership transitions are in place, there is a positive financial correlation and increase in productivity," he said.

Money Doesn't Drive Satisfaction

When making career transitions, less than 10 percent of study respondents said that it's about the money. In fact, just 54 percent reported any compensation increase with a new position, considering that many leaders needed to move laterally, or in some cases even downward, to advance their career. "Leaders would rather have companies invest in their professional future and in the skills and knowledge needed for a valued career. This is an indirect, but powerful way to put money on the table and give a green light about the importance of the individual leaders to the organization," said Paese. 

Study participants further noted that with good career moves, there are numerous rewards well beyond compensation. Nearly 50 percent said they felt empowered; 47 percent experienced greater self-assurance; 45 percent had better insight into their strengths and weaknesses; and 47 percent saw their personal stock soar as a result of their transition, with others viewing them as higher-status afterward compared to before.

"Our study suggests that for many companies, the corporate aspirations of growth and globalization don't track with the amount of investment and preparation they are putting into their future leaders," concluded Sinar.

Access the full report here, Leaders in Transition: Progressing Along a Precarious Path

Available for interviews:

Evan Sinar, Ph.D., DDI Chief Scientist and Director, Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research 

Matt Paese, Ph.D., DDI Vice President, Executive Succession and Development

Statistical Graphics:

  1.  The Slippery Slope of Leadership Transitions Infographic
  1.  Moving To New Levels of Leadership Requires A Unique Mix of Skills
  1.  Who Has Helped Most In Your Move

About Development Dimensions International

Founded in 1970, DDI is a global talent management consultancy that helps companies transform the way they hire, promote and develop their leaders and workforce. DDI's expertise includes designing and implementing selection systems and identifying and developing frontline to executive leadership talent. Clients include half of the Fortune 500 and multinationals doing business across a vast array of industries from Berlin to Bangalore and everywhere in between. We serve clients from 42 DDI-owned or closely-affiliated offices

Visit DDI's Website

Check out DDI on LinkedIn

Follow DDI on Twitter

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
With the proliferation of connected devices underpinning new Internet of Things systems, Brandon Schulz, Director of Luxoft IoT – Retail, will be looking at the transformation of the retail customer experience in brick and mortar stores in his session at @ThingsExpo. Questions he will address include: Will beacons drop to the wayside like QR codes, or be a proximity-based profit driver? How will the customer experience change in stores of all types when everything can be instrumented and a...
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of ...
Everyone talks about continuous integration and continuous delivery but those are just two ends of the pipeline. In the middle of DevOps is continuous testing (CT), and many organizations are struggling to implement continuous testing effectively. After all, without continuous testing there is no delivery. And Lab-As-A-Service (LaaS) enhances the CT with dynamic on-demand self-serve test topologies. CT together with LAAS make a powerful combination that perfectly serves complex software developm...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
As more intelligent IoT applications shift into gear, they’re merging into the ever-increasing traffic flow of the Internet. It won’t be long before we experience bottlenecks, as IoT traffic peaks during rush hours. Organizations that are unprepared will find themselves by the side of the road unable to cross back into the fast lane. As billions of new devices begin to communicate and exchange data – will your infrastructure be scalable enough to handle this new interconnected world?
In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IceWarp will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IceWarp, the leader of cloud and on-premise messaging, delivers secured email, chat, documents, conferencing and collaboration to today's mobile workforce, all in one unified interface
In their Live Hack” presentation at 17th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty and Paul Fletcher, Chief Security Evangelists at Alert Logic, will provide the audience with a chance to see a live demonstration of the common tools cyber attackers use to attack cloud and traditional IT systems. This “Live Hack” uses open source attack tools that are free and available for download by anybody. Attendees will learn where to find and how to operate these tools for the purpose of testing their own IT infrastructu...
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome,” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
Consumer IoT applications provide data about the user that just doesn’t exist in traditional PC or mobile web applications. This rich data, or “context,” enables the highly personalized consumer experiences that characterize many consumer IoT apps. This same data is also providing brands with unprecedented insight into how their connected products are being used, while, at the same time, powering highly targeted engagement and marketing opportunities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nathan Trel...