Leadership – Tracking Underlying Causes of Failure

Leadership – Tracking Underlying Causes of Failure

One of the most powerful questions one can ask oneself is Am I working in a company where leaders are highly ethical? Values-based leaders put others interests ahead of their own.

Are you an ethical leader who exhibits good judgment? Are you able to create a high performance workplace by creating a workplace climate where doing the right thing and not greed and self-interest is your highest priority?

Leadership - Tracking Underlying Causes of Failure

Sidney Finkelstein, author of Why Smart executives Fail 2003, researched several spectacular CEO failures and their causes over a six year period. He found several patterns that explain what went wrong.

At some point, every successful organization is a victim of its own success stemming from a distorted view of reality. Many executives saw the signs that competitors or customers were asking for a change and yet they chose to ignore them.

Why did they fail? What are the patterns and warning signs? How can we detect the warning signs in organizations before it is too late?

Four Explanations

Finkelstein offers four explanations for CEO behaviors that lead to failure:

  1. Executive Mindset Failures – Breakdowns in how executives perceive reality for their companies
  1. Delusions of a Dream Company – How people within an organization face up to their reality
  1. Lost Signals – How information and control systems in the organization are mismanaged
  1. Patterns of Unsuccessful Executive Habits – How organizational leaders adopt unsuccessful behaviors

In the CEO failures he studied, Finkelstein emphasizes that it was not unforeseeable events that brought their companies down. In all cases, these CEOs of failed companies knew there was trouble coming, but they chose not to act.

By  Angelina   Palmer

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