Overwhelmed, Overloaded

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Executive Summary

Companies invest billions of dollars a year developing leaders by using outside training programs and on-the-job work experience. Previous research and common practice has suggested that the more challenging the on-the-job experience, the better. Not true, according to DeRue's latest paper "Developing Leaders via Experience." Eventually, the value of a challenging job - at least in terms of building leadership skills - reaches a maximum point and begins to tail off. After studying 225 job experiences across 60 managers, DeRue and co-author Ned Wellman found a clear pattern of diminishing returns. Wellman is a second-year doctoral student at Ross.

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