Front Line Leader


5 Stages of Career Development

Where are you?

Most individuals look forward to having their own projects or areas of responsibility. Earning this opportunity—and taking advantage of it—move a person into Stage 2.

Mastering Stage 2 requires that you:

  • Assume responsibility for a definable portion of a work effort or process.
  • Work independently and produce results that are recognized as your own.
  • Develop credibility and a reputation for competent work.
  • Manage more of your own time and be more accountable for outcomes

Where are you going?

Stage 2 is a key decision point in your career. Some people find they prefer to be left alone to do their work. In fact, the most readily identifiable role in most organizations is as the individual contributor— the subject-matter expert, the specialist, the team member.

Keep in mind two points: First, in order to contribute in a Stage 3 manner, you do not need to be a manager. If you do not wish to move into a management position, consider ways of informally coaching and mentoring others that better match your career aspirations. Second, if you plan to remain an independent contributor, you must continually increase your technical knowledge to remain a valued contributor.

The Stage 2 to Stage 3 transition is the most difficult novation to make. There are several adjustments that need to take place in order to move into Stage 3. You must:

  • Develop a greater breadth of technical skills and apply those skills in several areas.
  • Build a network of people outside your own work group and use that network to help the group get its work done.
  • Become involved in the development of people through ideas and information.
  • Let go of Stage 2 technical work to focus on Stage 3 mentoring and coaching.

Development Opportunities

  • Agility
  • Managing through complexity
  • Build cross functional
  • relationships to reduce silos and gain greater perspective
  • Collaboration and Decision Making
  • Shift from technical expertise to leading others, and getting work done through others
  • Strategy Translation
  • Financial and Business Acumen– understanding P&L and contribution
  • Emotional and Social Intelligence

Front Line Leader Career Resources

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