Behaviors That Shape Strong Leaders
Moving to the executive level is among the toughest transitions of any career
Research shows that moving to the executive level is among the toughest transitions of any career. For example, a study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership shows that 40 percent of new executives fail within 18 months of being named to their positions. What’s going on here? Is it a case of the Peter Principle at work?
Have 40 percent of all new executives simply risen to their level of incompetence? That seems unlikely. After all, to get to the executive level, you usually have to be pretty smart, accomplished, and competent. How do we explain the sudden increase in the failure rate when leaders move into next level roles?
Let’s look first at expectations. Based on my experience as an executive and coach in Fortune 500 corporations and large government agencies, I know that the expectations of performance for executives are very high. I also know that they are very rarely explicitly stated. Unfortunately, much of the time the only expectation that is shared with new executives is that they are to figure out what to do and how to do it. In an effort to make the implicit more explicit, I have identified nine sets of key behaviors and beliefs that executives need to pick up and let go of to succeed. These sets of behaviors break down into three primary components of executive presence: personal presence, team presence and organizational presence.
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