We support McCall's (2010) thesis but use a cultural lens to focus on the limitations of his arguments from three perspectives. First, we agree that experience is beneficial but have to disagree with his assertion that “there really is no need to do more research” on how “certain experiences matter more than others.” Second, we endorse McCall's acknowledgement that “it is the framework for understanding the lessons of those experiences, however, that has the most potential for helping people think through their own development.” But we caution that cross‐national studies introduce additional leadership lessons to be learned—possibly not just by managers in the country or region where the study was implemented but by business leaders in other parts of the world. Lastly, McCall suggests that the key return on experience is in “the long‐term impact of higher quality leadership talent on organizational performance.” But in our view, he stops short of providing feasible options for translating experiences into higher quality leadership. So we propose an alternate way of embedding the transfer of leadership learning within the culture of organizations. Two assumptions guide our commentary: (a) Given the reality of today's expanding global business activity, the experiences and lessons
Industrial and Organizational Psychology – Wiley
Published: Mar 1, 2010
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