Harvard Business Review: How leaders fail

Rodney Kramer, social psychologist teaching at Stanford Business School., has studied successful business executives, particularly those who rise to the very top spots in their fields and observed the curious–but recognizable phenomenon of a leader whose success is rapidly following by a dramatic crash, often brought about by their own lapses in judgment/behavior. King’s new article in HBR, The Harder They Fall,” explores what skills these leaders deploy to achieve–and what problems bring them down.
Some key points:
–The often harsh sacrifices executives have to make to success make them vulnerable to the “heady effects of power’s rewards.”
–The trapping of power and the perks fuel the overly positive self-assessments we all have, resulting on “potentially fatal overconfidence.”
Looking back I was often terribly wrong,” said one young entrepreneur who had burned through more than $20MM trying to launch a Web-based business. : Unfortunately, I was never in doubt.”
How to avoid these pitfalls? Kramer says that leaders who manage to stay on course share the traits of cultivating humility, acknowledging mistakes, remaining hands-on, and staying reflective.