Fahnestock & Associates
In the last fifteen years, the Center for Creative
Leadership has conducted a series of studies about the reasons
executives derail and the factors that influence executivesí success.
Some of the key result areas of that research are summarized
below. We define Derailment
when an executive candidate or incumbentís career does not reach the
level that was expected of him/her.
My experience has been that knowing the common reasons
for derailment can help us to prevent this for some of the hi-potential
people in whom organizations are investing.
It can also help to inform movement, selection, and promotion
decisions in order to leverage an organizationís strategic business
investment in corporate talent.
Reasons Why Executives Derail:
Their strengths become weaknesses.
E.g., ambition destroys their support base; brilliant
management of projects becomes micro-management of high-level
Their deficiencies eventually matter.
E.g., the talented, but insensitive can get by at lower levels,
until oneís subordinates and peers are also powerful and brilliant.
Success goes to their heads. E.g.,
after being told how good they are, they become cold and conceited.
Once someone acts as if there is nothing more to learn, their
information sources begin to dry up.
Events conspire, too.
E.g., a few of the derailed apparently do little wrong, but
are affected by political or economic upheavals.
specifically individuals who derail have the following difficulties:
1. Poor treatment of
2. Difficulty in
molding a staff
3. Difficulty in
making strategic transitions when entering the executive culture or
switching to an unknown area (line to staff, new division, global
4. Lack of
on someone or some skill
with higher management about how the business should be run or about
information about developing high potential talent, please contact
Fahnestock & Associates.
Principal, at 860.637.0100, or e-mail:
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Fahnestock & Associates LLC
November 09, 2012