Search This Blog

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Career De-Railers - Hero To Zero Before You Know It

Most professionals over the course of their career will encounter people that are brilliant and seem to have all the qualities to become high-fliers with the potential of reaching the upper echelons of senior management. On occasion, these seemingly talented people find their careers crashing and burning and after the dust has settled, they wonder what has happened that caused them to go from hero to zero in no time flat.

In many of these cases there are some clear reasons why this happens and indicators if paid attention to early enough and addressed, would have potentially led to a different career outcome.  I will outline some of the most common career de-railers, that if diagnosed early, can in most cases be overcome:
  1. Being Inflexible - some indicators of this de-railer are being too vocal about their disagreement with senior management, having difficulty adapting to changes in strategy, organizational structure or new leadership.  These people may be seen as arrogant, perfectionists, defensive or too invested in their own points of view.
  2. Failure to Build Trust or Betrayal of One's Trust - some indicators of this de-railer are not "walking the talk" or inconsistent or unpredictability in their behaviours or actions.  These people can be seen as overly ambitious, devious or conflict avoiders.
  3. One Trick Ponies - some indicators of this de-railer are relying heavily on one single strength only, being too comfortable in their role or having a very narrow perspective.  These people can be seen as  inexperienced, lazy or overvaluing a skill they personally possess.
  4. The Water-Walker - some indicators of this are people who are fast-tracked through a number of critical roles and do not work through complete business cycles or choose only to build a superficial understanding of these roles.  These people can be seen as not valuing the experiential opportunity, having an advocate who doesn't understand the importance of hands-on learning or just naive, or worse, just plain arrogant.
The remedy for these de-railers are early diagnosis, acknowledgement, acceptance and a willingness to seek coaching and support to take material steps to address them.  If people choose to manage through these detailers, there is a strong possibility they will be able to retain the title of hero and avoid being labeled as a zero after what is usually a very public fall from grace.

Talent Matters can support organizations and professionals alike to diagnose these and other career de-railers and provide coaching, and realistic development strategies to keep you on track.

No comments:

Post a Comment