3 Traits of Unsuccessful Executives

Just as successful CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and other high profile executives share positive leadership traits, executives who fail often have commonalities in their tenures. In 2004 Sydney Finkelstein published “Why Smart Executives Fail,” a case study involving high profile executive failures. While assigning too much blame to a single person only exacerbates corporate failures, many missteps provide pertinent lessons to executives.

Skewed Business Perspectives

Successful executives must have a realistic sense of their impact on the industry. Executives who perceive their company as dominating the industry often lose perspective, sacrificing their edge due to arrogance. Similarly, executives who see themselves as ineffective take fewer risks and reap fewer rewards. To achieve corporate success, the leadership team must develop a realistic vision for company growth and adapt that vision to changes in the industry.

Work/Life Imbalance

The inability to separate work life from personal life has been the downfall of many family structures, but it can negatively impact business relationships as well. Executives without a good work/life balance show more signs of stress, have greater health deterioration, and often develop myopic perspectives. CEOs who associate too closely with their careers tend to view their companies as an extension of themselves, often resulting in shortsighted, ambition-based decisions that ultimately harm the business.

Resistance to Executive Input

executive teamwork to avoid failureCEOs encourage decisiveness in their leadership teams, but quick decisions are often shortsighted. When executives develop managers who share their corporate vision and offer unique perspectives, they make more strategic decisions for the good of the company. Leaders who dissociate with voices of dissent may lose their grasp on the ramifications of their decisions. Successful executives have extensive knowledge about their fields, but the mark of a true leader is the ability to listen to opposition and restrategize.

Eschewing poor executive traits will have little impact on your career unless you show potential employers that overcoming difficulties positively impacted your leadership skills. Contact Executive Resumes Atlanta for a professionally written, personally branded executive resume.