New Horizons in Management series
Edited by Mitchell G. Rothstein and Ronald J. Burke
Chapter 8: Managing Your Leadership Career in Hard Times
John Blenkinsopp, Yehuda Baruch and Ruth Winden INTRODUCTION In this chapter we seek to blend an overview of theory and research with a discussion of the practical implications of this work for your own career. Those who take on leadership roles in organizations are often perceived to be highly careerist and therefore, it is assumed, active in managing their own careers. In our experience such individuals are often a good deal less careerist than one might imagine and may lack career management skills. The original title of this chapter was ‘Managing your leadership career’, and we thought long and hard before adding ‘in hard times’ to give it a focus on the current economic situation. However, we felt we couldn’t ignore it – recession is likely to have a major effect on leadership careers, derailing some and enhancing others. Perhaps the most vivid recent example is the way in which the financial meltdown of September 2008 proved to be the pivotal moment in the careers of two well-known senators, testing their leadership credentials in ways that led one to victory and the White House, and the other to defeat. Though focusing on hard times might seem to make the chapter rather specific, career management approaches which work in recession will also work in times of growth. More importantly, while it is possible to have a successful career in a time of growth without engaging in effective career management, the same is not true in a time of recession. THE CHANGING CONTEXT...
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