10.5 Reasons Why Even Top-Notch Executives Fail
And How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Happen To You
With few exceptions, top executives deserve the responsibility and recognition they enjoy.
- They have worked long and hard over many years.
- They have fought countless battles in the corporate trenches.
- They have been forged in the crucible of time and experience.
- They are responsible professionals whose corporate stripes are well earned.
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But more than ever before, earning a promotion to an executive position does not guarantee successful performance in that position.
Because as today’s organizations continue to downsize, right size, restructure, and re-engineer, more and more responsibility and accountability fall on the shoulders of executives.
Many executives know they must guard against the risk of failure due to the Peter Principle—the maxim that in any hierarchy, people tend to rise to their level of incompetence. But in this age of flattening organizational structures, the Peter Principle casts a shadow of far greater proportions than it has in the past. The new danger is that executives who have not yet—and might never have—“risen” to their level of incompetence may nevertheless fall victim to it if they are unable to meet increased demands and responsibilities they subsequently inherit in their current executive positions.
The good news is that this 21st century manifestation of the Peter Principle—like the Peter Principle itself—is simply an observed tendency, not a fatalistic prediction. And fortunately there is an antidote for this threat to executive survival: preparation. Executives, if they take the time and make the effort to understand the booby traps and land mines facing them on today’s business battlefields, significantly increase their chances for success.
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