According to The Centre for Creative Leadership almost 1 in 2 of the managers who have the makings of success fail to reach their potential. They ‘derail’ and are either demoted, fired, plateau or opt for early retirement (William A Gentry).
There seem to be some key problems that cause this derailment:
- Failing to build effective interpersonal relationships
- Showing poor team leadership
- Having problems adapting to changes in the environment
- Lacking growth and development in the face of the changing demands of their role
- Failing to meet business objectives (due to either failing to follow through or being overambitious )
- Maintaining a narrow focus, so that they aren’t able to supervise outside of their area of functional expertise
What seems to happen is that these managers are defensive in the face of challenging feedback, don’t learn from their mistakes and don’t identify and address their weaknesses.
Why do they do that?
I suspect that they lack self-compassion. Self-compassion makes it easier to be open to difficult feedback; learn from mistakes and admit failings. Self compassion can probably be increased*.
These managers also need to get better at noticing when their approach is ineffective and then quickly adjusting their behaviour. A starting point here may be to learn to become more mindful and psychologically flexible.
* For readers based in Brisbane, I am running a low cost public workshop on self-compassion on Sunday 6th May 2012.