Leadership Transition Ranks as Greatest Life Challenge for 20% of Leaders

May 17, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Nearly 20% of U.S. leaders ranked landing a promotion as their No. 1 greatest life challenge in a survey by a human resources consulting firm.

The survey by Development Dimensions International (DDL) of 785 leaders in both the U.S. and other parts of the world found that 19% of U.S. leaders said getting a promotion was a greater life challenge than coping with bereavement, divorce and relocation. However, 40% said their company provides little to no support during a leadership transition.

“Being promoted into a supervisory or corporate management role is more than a simple next step – it requires a personal transformation and self-awareness not required at more junior levels,” Matt Paese, DDI’s Vice President of Succession Management said in a press release. “The biggest mistake that a leader can make is to isolate themselves and try to figure it out alone, instead of relying on the network of people around them.”

While 36% of respondents said getting a promotion had no affect on their personal lives, DDL said as employees move up in the ranks at work, increasing professional demands are more likely to take a greater toll on their personal lives.

Twice as many U.S. men as women chose networking skills as pivotal in terms of what skills would be needed in the next leadership level, but twice as many women citied business acumen as a pivotal skill.

In terms of job satisfaction, the top two reasons leaders cited for the satisfaction that comes along with promotion were bigger paychecks and the ability to make things happen. Female leaders were more inclined to cite monetary awards as the biggest driver than males, and were more likely than male leadersto want promotions to build self-esteem and gain respect from their peers.

U.S. leaders see getting international experience as less important than their international peers, who cited intercultural sensitivity and international experience as two of the most helpful elements in making a transition. These two landed at the bottom of the list for U.S. leaders, with only 4% saying they were important for a smooth experience.