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Tripping over their shoelaces Why change leaders falter and fall

Tripping over their shoelaces Why change leaders falter and fall

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Tripping over their shoelaces Why change leaders falter and fall

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  1. Tripping over their shoelacesWhy change leaders falter and fall Branka van Roon, Excellent Leadership Company

  2. Model of poor performance • The structure of the leadership crisis • Patterns of leader’s behaviours • Patterns of leader’s thoughts • Actions taken or not taken by the leader • Based on case studies of faltering CEOs

  3. The Crisis • A crisis lasts 9-12 months • A crisis happens in 3 phases • Early warning signs appear within 100 days

  4. Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Blind for signals Ineffective response Wrong Choice 100 Days A crisis lasts 9 -12 months 3 phases of a crisis

  5. Phase 1: early symptoms unanticipated events “We unexpectedly faced a bad financial result “ “A colleague left, I missed his intermediary role within the board of directors” “External pressure on the organization became palpable: the supervisory board suddenly changed their attitude towards me” Source: Quotes from survey

  6. Phase1: early symptomsfeelings of unease “I was disappointed that nobody liked my plans” “Thinking about tomorrow gave me a choking feeling” “I was frustrated and hurt because they did not value may efforts” “I felt petrified by her request” Source: Quotes from survey

  7. Phase 2: An ineffective response to resistance • Growing resistance among co-workers • Leaders remain doing what they do best • Leaders get negative feedback • Leaders feel insecure and increasingly inadequate • Leaders behave out of the ordinary • Leaders take feedback personally and developnegative self images • Leaders engage in self destructive behaviour

  8. The leader continues doing what he does best • Leaders stay in their “comfort zone”, focusing on those actual problems they know best how to deal with: • Defining strategy for change • Redesigning work processes • Reshaping organizational infrastructure • Defining strategy for innovation

  9. Negative feedback “Since you came here you have done little else but control us” “We missed the funds because of you” “Because of your plans we have to work much harder” “There is a growing dissatisfaction within the organization due to your plans” Source: Quotes from survey

  10. Inadequate behaviour “I started looking over my shoulder” “I developed a feeling of loathing towards the members of supervisory board” “I barely spoke to anyone, my own office was my favourite place to be” “I deliberately sought no contact with my people” Source: Quotes from survey

  11. Negative self-image “I can’t do this” “I know they do things behind my back” “It is all my fault” “They do not appreciate me” “There is nothing else I can do but wait” Source: Quotes from survey

  12. Self destructive behaviour • “I felt scared and depressed” • “I felt alone and isolated” • “Everybody let me down so I just went and sat in my office” • “Because I felt guilty I behaved rather forced” Source: Quotes from survey

  13. Phase 3: fatally wrong choice • At the start of change: the leader supports the organizational change and organizational goals • During the crisis: he is troubled by negative emotions and negative self-image • At the end: the leader chooses to follow only his own interest (leave, change job) • This is the point of no return: the crisis is irreversible

  14. At the start: supports the goals • “I was looking forward to designing our new strategy” • “In my new job I really wanted to contribute to the development of this organization” • “My goal was to develop a new product” • “I wanted to adjust the core business of our organization to match the demand of the market” • “I wanted the merger to be a success, I wanted everybody to have success”

  15. At the end: own interest first • “I wanted to get rid of my colleague” • “I wanted to save my skin” • “I wanted another job, I wanted to leave” • “I wanted this all to stop” Source: Quotes from survey

  16. The fall • Depressed, tired and burned the CEO falters. • Some became physically ill • All were dismissed from the office

  17. What happened ? • Unaware of the approaching crisis, the leader misinterprets early signals • Staying too long in the comfort zone, doing what he does best • Eventually succumbs to hostility and criticism from his people by developing a negative self-image. • Lets go of organization goals and follows his own interest

  18. Levels of learning and change Source: Robert Dilts, NLPU

  19. Faltering leaders