A Look at Derailment Today: North America and Europe

Front Cover
Center for Creative Leadership, 1996 - Business & Economics - 69 pages
Executives with a track record of success are sometimes fired, demoted, or plateaued. This publication presents findings of a study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), which compared contemporary derailed and successful executives in the United States and Europe. Results are compared to those of earlier CCL findings. Data were gathered from interviews with 20 senior executives from 15 Fortune 500 service or manufacturing companies in the United States and 42 senior executives from 24 large service or manufacturing organizations in 6 European Union countries--Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. The executives also completed a SYMLOG (Systematic Multiple-Level Observation of Groups) questionnaire, an instrument that measures group dynamics affecting leadership and teamwork. A comparison of derailment factors identified by 1980s and 1990s research and across cultures revealed four dominant derailment themes: (1) problems with interpersonal relationships; (2) failure to meet business objectives; (3) inability to build and lead a team; and (4) inability to adapt during a transition. Eight success themes that appear to have endured over time and across cultures are: (1) being ambitious; (2) establishes strong relationships; (3) consistently gives high performance; (4) having team-building and leadership skills; (5) intelligence; (6) willingness to take risks; (7) ability to adapt; and (8) being a problem solver. Appendices contain the interview guide, the SYMLOG instrument, SYMLOG results, a list of derailment and success factors most frequently mentioned by North American and European senior executives, and a discussion of research limitations. A list of CCL publications, four tables, and six figures are included. (Contains 41 references.) (LMI)

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Results and Discussion of Research on Executive Derailment in the 1990s
Comparison of CCL Derailment Themes Over Time
General Discussion
SYMLOG Rating Form
Derailment Factors Most Frequently Mentioned

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