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Why Many Executives Plateau
July 19,2013 [ by Larry Chao ] 25441 Read and 1 Comment

It is insightful speaking with chief executives about what prevents executives from being promoted to senior management.

There are two common reasons: First, the inability to achieve results through others and second, poor interpersonal skills that can create lack of trust.

Both of these reasons find their roots in hard driving, talented executives, who try to achieve results on their own through sheer willpower. They are often perfectionists and demand perfection from others.

The problem occurs when these executives attempt to control everything with zero tolerance for error.

On one hand, the inability to delegate demoralizes and prevents the development of subordinates. At a certain level, success is more about achieving results through others and sharing ownership and credit rather than trying to do everything by one’s self.

On the other hand, as one’s career progresses, the more it is about performing in an imperfect world. Too many times, outstanding executives trip themselves up when they expect perfection from their imperfect peers and bosses. There is a long queue of executives who have derailed their careers by criticizing others unnecessarily.

To navigate the most senior reaches of an organization, performance absolutely still matters. But how you perform through others, and how you interact with people when things are not perfect matters more.

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