Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. A manager’s guide to keeping on track…On 22 Oct 2002 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. The 12 common executive derailers and how to recognise themExecutive derailers are personal traits that can cause executives to fail,even when they have the necessary knowledge and experience, and appear to havethe right skills and motivation for the job. As leaders move into more seniorpositions with broader responsibility and accountability, these personalcharacteristics inevitably have a greater impact. Derailers appear when anexecutive overuses a strength, such as when high work standards cross the lineand become over-critical and perfectionist behaviours, when assertivenessbecomes argumentativeness, or when self-confidence taken to extremes is seen asarrogance. Sometimes derailers do not derive from strengths. They may be slightlynegative traits that have little impact at operational level, but can createmassive organisational ripples once a person is in a strategic leadership role.Aloof Generally imperceptive, they may not understand the reactionsof others to their own behaviour and are likely to have poor insight. Arrogant Overly self-assured, they may overestimate their ownabilities, seem self-absorbed or inconsiderate, or be perceived as tooindependent. Cautious Indecisive, too deliberate, adverse to risk or reluctant to takeunusual or unconventional actions. They can miss opportunities to capitalise ongood ideas. Dependent Needing praise or reassurance, they might also be compliantor conforming. They often avoid confrontation and taking unpopular stands. Distrustful Argumentative, sceptical, tense, suspicious, evenparanoid. They tend to focus on protecting their own interests and challengeauthority. Eccentric Creative and different to the point of seeming ‘odd’, theycan react badly when judgement is challenged. Dramatic May fail because peers and people who report directly tothem resent their tendency to monopolise attention or take credit for others’contributions. Mischievous Impulsive, impatient, unpredictable and even overlyimaginative. They are unable to learn from mistakes and may take ill-advisedrisks. Passive/aggressive Seen as overly calm and co-operative, butaggressive tend to be privately irritable, resentful, stubborn orunco-operative – which comes out into the open when they are under stress. Perfectionist Often controlling and demanding. People often resenttheir level of meddling and attention to detail. They are prone to missopportunities to become more strategic. Volatile They have difficulty in controlling their emotions, aremoody, and quick to erupt in anger. They fail to express emotionsappropriately, with short attention spans and a history of unstable jobrelationships. Low tolerance Focused tactically rather than strategically. They forambiguity often have difficulty stepping up to increased complexity orambiguity, as well as focusing on the future versus the present. …andsleeping easy at nightThetop 10 anxieties of senior HR specialists, and how to deal with themIssue1 A terrifying gap between the experience levels of executives and theirprospective ‘heirs’SolutionThe stars of tomorrow need to understand the wide range of issues that affectsuccessful globalisation and how to work together in a global team acrosscultures. HR leaders need to regularly get process updates onto the boardagenda.Issue2 Effective performance managementSolutionAll leaders must have a hard talent development measure included in theirperformance review.Issue3 Talent retentionSolutionReview plans to upgrade talented individuals for each country and operatingunit and to align them with the relevant business plan. Nurturing line talentchampions is critical.Issue4 Driving consistency in HR practices and policies acrossregions/countries. Cultural and other local differences can cause breakdowns ininteractions and HR policies.SolutionConsistency across the board for HR systems and processes, such as thecompetency framework.Issue5 Multi and inter-cultural leadership. Too few leaders have the businessand leadership skills or global mindsets needed to think strategically and tomanage effectively in a multinational/global enterprise.SolutionGreater emphasis on understanding how nations and ethnic groups differ andsensitivity to these differences when working with multi-national teams. Thinkthrough the impact of local initiatives in the wider global context.Issue6 Measuring effectiveness of humancapital strategies and systemsSolutionDetermine upfront what the outcomes might be from any HR investment andestablish how they will be measured. A good performance management system is akey tool. Other measurement tools could include: Return on Investment;succession management, retention of high potentials; productivity; behaviourchange, 360-degree surveys and behavioural interviews.Issue7 Leveraging technology for leadershipdevelopmentSolutionHR proves its worth if systems enable easier talent auditing and speediertalent deployment. Self-service HR also frees up HR professionals to do morestrategic work.Issue8 Employee brandingSolutionBuild a competency framework around company vision and values and rewardbehaviours, which reflect the vision and values and positively contribute tocustomers’ experience of the brand.Issue9 Online staffing and recruitmentSolutionPerhaps best used for large job trawls, graduate recruitment, or for low-tomid-level positions rather than for senior roles. However, there is still nosubstitute for good behavioural interviewing once the funnel has narrowed downthe search.Issue10 Developing the HR teamSolutionSenior HR practitioners should move from being reactive, transactional andadministration-based to being business consultants. They should take the largerview and become closer to business. Their objective should be to make businessstrategies happen through people.