25 Career Options in Leadership Development

Interested in a career in leadership development? There are
a lot of ways you can make a decent living and have some fun developing
leaders. Here are 25 that come to mind, in no particular order:

1. Mid-level or Senior Manager: managers developing the managers below them.

2. Leadership Trainer or Training Manager: conducting or managing leadership and management training

3. Executive coach: helping to unlock the potential within managers through
assessment, feedback, questions, etc…

4. Leadership Author: writing books about leadership.

5. Leadership Blogger: writing online posts about leadership.

6. Leadership Development Consultant: helping companies design leadership development systems,
processes, programs, etc…

7. College Professor or Adjunct Instructor: teaching leadership and management courses in degree or
executive development programs.

8. Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychologist: these are the PhDs that are often involved in leadership assessments
and assessment centers.

9. HR Generalist: coaching, succession planning, and training are often part
of the generalist role.

10. Pastor, Minister: teaching their congregations, youth groups, etc… about

11. Sales or Marketing Manager: selling leadership programs and services.

12. Program Coordinator: managing the logistics for leadership programs and services.

13. Instructional Designer: designing and developing leadership courses (classroom and

14. Leadership Guru: those that are quoted about leadership and can command
$10,000 and up for a keynote speech.

15. Leadership Researcher: conducts research about leadership models, best practices,

16. Leadership Speaker: giving keynotes, speeches about leadership. Road warriers.
17. Youth Leadership Development Coordinator: coordinates high school or college leadership programs.
18. Talent Development Manager: a role that often combines leadership development, recruitment,
and succession planning.

19. Succession Planning Manager: manages the identification and development of potential replacements
for key roles in a company.

20. Organizational Development (OD) Manager or Consultant: no one can agree exactly what OD really means, but they
sometimes do leadership development.

21. Chief Learning Officer (CLO): “C” level training manager job – often directly responsible
for leadership development.

22. Human Resource Executive: high level HR role, often directly involved in executive development
and succession planning.
23. Assessment Administrator: administers 360 and behavioral assessments.

24. Project Manager: manages large, complex organizational leadership development
programs and systems. Not always subject matter expert, but gets things done.

25. Executive Recruiter: somethimes gets involved in leadership assessment,
onboarding, and coaching leaders.

Many of these roles are only available in mid-large size
companies, and many can be done independently. Many independents will combine
4-5 of them, e.g., writer, blogger, speaker, trainer, and coach. A few require
advanced degrees and/or certifications (professors, I/O Psychologists), and
some are entry level (Program Coordinators, Bloggers).

Did I miss any?

What leadership development roles could there be in 10 years
that don’t exist today?