New report shows careers can go off the rails

Today at the Annual British Psychological Society Conference, workplace psychologists OPP presented the findings of its new report ‘Leadership Derailment and the Role of Personality’.

The British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology Annual conference is taking place at The Hilton Hotel, Blackpool from 14th – 16th January 2009
 
The research underpinning the report was undertaken in partnership with the Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) and investigated the potential links between the personality traits of an executive and the tendency for their careers to stall.

Previous research discovered that the majority of the ‘derailed managers’ had impressive track records and were solidly established within their organisation right before their careers derailed. 
 
This latest report builds on that research by looking at the personality of leaders and offers a number of reasons why leadership careers can ‘go off the rails’, preventing executives from achieving their full potential.

For instance, derailment is likely to occur if an executive is less trusting of people, more conceptual and abstract in their style of thinking, or tends towards revealing too much personal information about themselves. 
 
Rob Bailey, managing consultant at OPP and co-author of the report, comments “The study has shown that we can pin-point a range of concrete factors that have forced once-successful careers off the career track. It is clear that individual personality traits play an important role in the derailment potential of an executive.
 
“With the link between personality and career derailment firmly established, it makes good business sense to understand how individuals’ particular personal style may be perceived by others and, in raising their understanding of this, lessen the chances that they will derail.
 
“Derailment is usually unintentional and can cause considerable damage, both to the individual and the organization as a whole. To help lessen the chances of that happening, training and leadership development needs to be dynamic and ongoing.

“That way, managers will be given every chance to remain successful and organisations will be able to retain and develop their executive talent pool effectively.”

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