An interesting article I read recently …. Development Dimensions International surveyed 944 human resources professionals on why internally promoted leaders failed. Here are the results for consideration:

  • Poor people skills: 53%
  • Personal qualities (style, attitude, habits): 53%
  • Poor fit with company culture: 44%
  • Couldn’t get results: 43%
  • Don’t have the skills to do the job: 36%
  • Poor strategic or visionary skills: 33%
  • Poor motivational fit with the job: 27%
  • Inadequate preparation: 22%
  • Lack of experience (Not ready for the position): 21%
  • Unrealistic expectations for the job: 18%
  • Other: 7% 

For those who would like to be promoted, here is a checklist of ‘leadership potential’ indicators:

  •  Motivation to lead: Has upward ambition, actively pursues leadership opportunities.
  • Authenticity: Is genuine and true, has integrity, promotes trust and is confident.
  • Brings out the best in people: Optimizes talent, inspires performance, unties others to common goals.
  • Learning agility: Learns from mistakes, learns new information, is curious.
  • Receptivity to feedback: Seeks and uses feedback, accepts criticism and is humble.
  • Adaptability: Accepts change, adjusts quickly and balances many demands.
  • Conceptual thinking: Thinks broadly, sees many perspectives and understands connections.
  • Navigates ambiguity: Simplifies complex situations and sees in shades of grey.
  • Cultural fit: Has personal style or qualities that fit with the company culture.
  • Passion for results: Gets things done, overcomes problems and refuses to give up.

1 thought on “WHY NEW LEADERS FAIL

  1. I read your blogs consistently and find them very affirming in my sales career.  Too many times I find companies choose "good" salespeople and push them into management with little forethought.  After 16 years in sales, I find myself in this position.  Part of me is excited at the opportunity and part of me knows I will miss the thrill of being a road warrior and closing the deal.  I\’m not really sure I want to embrace the political culture of management and leave my carefree sales days behind.  How do you feel about "good" salespeople becoming managers?  Is it possible to be able to both extremely well?

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