The modern business environment centers on continuous change and the executive who fails to adapt may find his or her career derailed. In "Career Derailment: Are You at Risk?" Jean Brittain Leslie discusses the nine career flaws that can plague even the most successful executive. The article further focuses on career derailment in the healthcare management field.
Of the nine fatal flaws that lead to executive derailment, four are the most damaging. The first is the inability to adapt or develop. Executives who suffer from this tendency routinely fail to heed feedback on areas of improvement and are resistant to change. The maintenance of poor working relationships is the second fatal flaw. This lack of interpersonal skills often becomes apparent when an executive moves to a higher level of responsibility within the organization since senior-level positions require a higher degree of group orientation. The third flaw is the inability to build and lead a team. Senior executives must possess the ability to lead in order to meet performance objectives. The fourth flaw is authoritarianism. The management style of the 1990s is characterized by participation and empowerment, a style that some traditional managers fear and thus are unable to adjust.
Both executives and the organizations for which they work benefit from techniques to avoid career derailment. Organizations make substantial investments in training and grooming their executives. When an executive's career is derailed that investment is lost. Techniques to avoid career derailment include training programs, feedback from colleagues, and skill enhancement.
Leslie, J.B. (1995, November/December). Career derailment: Are you at risk? Healthcare Executive, pp. 7-9.
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