300 take a "stretch" at Leadership Academy
Monday, March 9, 2015
Posted by: Barbara Francella
More than 300 NEW members and
supporters took a career-enhancing stretch during the NEW Leadership Academy
webinar "Stretch Assignments," March 6, 2015.
Michelle Y. Long, unit manager, research division for Chevron Energy Technology
Company, joined facilitator Jo Miller of Women's Leadership Coaching Inc. to
share how stretch assignments and high-profile projects increase expertise,
sharpen leadership skills and boost workplace visibility. The presentation also
included insights from Teresa Turley, district manager for The Kroger Co., who
was waylaid by weather conditions during the live event.
Long, who was invited to serve
on the Texaco/Shell join venture transition team, said the stretch assignment took
her away from her operations and business background into a highly visible
strategic role. By spearheading a team to examine alternative energy
legislation, she became a subject matter expert for "all things
biomass," and a critical asset to her company.
Miller shared how an
early-career stretch assignment helped her find new passion and build on her
expertise. "Anyone can become an expert if you dedicate yourself to
something needed," she said. "The first step to taking a stretch is,
of course, raising your hand."
Stretching for success
Women can create their own opportunities by making their intentions known, Long
added. "Make sure people know you're open to stretch assignments," she
said, stressing the value of one-on-one conversations and nurturing a support
"Don't be afraid to put
a proposal to leadership that defines a need, and how you can fill it," Miller
Turley urged women to ask
themselves three questions when considering a stretch assignment. "Is it
right for you? Is it right for the company? Is it a win-win?"
Long cautioned against losing credibility by biting off more than you can chew.
"Set yourself up to succeed and excel. Understand the goals and objectives
of your organization and understand what deliverables are expected from that
Turley advised emerging leaders to clearly understand their role in a
career-stretching move. "Make sure the assignment is right for you. Does
it truly stretch you? Stretch assignments can be within your area or outside
NEW members may register online
for the next NEW Leadership
Academy webinar, "Strategic Planning" on May 1 at 1 p.m. ET for
free. Non-members may view webinars for $99 per session. Members may view previous
NEW Leadership Academy webinars in the NEW