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Executive Derailment

Executive derailment is defined as ‘when a manager who was expected to go higher in the organisation and who was judged to have the ability to do so is fired, demoted or plateaus below expected levels of achievement.’ (Lombardo and McCaulay, 1988).

Far from being unusual, it is suggested that between 30 -50% of higher potential managers derail at some point in their career. (Lombardo and Eichinger, 1995). The cost to the organisation is terrific and estimated at around 15 x base compensation. Smart (1999, suggests the cost to be as high as $2.7m – adjusted for inflation that figure stands at $4.2m in 2020. In addition to significant financial costs there are other losses to be taken into account, such as loss of intellectual capital, loss of social capital, failure to meet organisational objectives, loss of clients, loss of unhappy employees –  (Hogan (2007), found that the greatest cause of stress for working adults was their immediate boss), and the greatest risk of all, loss of organisational reputation.


As stated elsewhere on this site, the pressure, stress and responsibility of leadership positions only exacerbate derailment characteristics which are generally identified as;

  • Self-focused rather than team focused
  • Failure to create positive personal relationships
  • Lack of professional development and personal growth
  • Inability to nurture talent – either one’s own or others
  • Arrogance
  • Lack of clarity or vision
  • Resistance to change
  • Poor emotional awareness and self-awareness
  • Poor soft skills
  • Poor management skills

We can help derailing executives to quickly get back on track and achieve both personal and professional success – as it is not possible to have one without the other.  It is our mission to help our clients achieve their fullest potential – in all areas of their life – and create authentic and enlightened leaders.

We can help to create leaders and individuals who are;

  • Focused on organisational, rather than personal objectives
  • Able to embrace and adapt to change
  • Able to communicate clearly
  • Safe and secure within themselves – thus more able to nurture others
  • Able to manage themselves and others
  • Able to inspire and motivate themselves and others
  • Excited about their career and operating at their fullest potential
  • Able to build happy and cohesive teams
  • Easily able to deal with stress and pressure
  • Considerate of the needs of others
  • Able to nurture talent
  • Able to improve soft skills
  • Emotionally intelligent

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