Why high flyers are more likely to crash and burn


Organisations look to appoint talented and experienced individuals and rarely look at their track record for evidence of resilience. Resilience is the ability to cope with  set backs, disappointments and failures. High flyers are used to always doing well which means they are ill prepared for when things go wrong. High performers gain quicker promotions and move from job to job after relatively short periods of time and so avoid being seriously  challenged or leave before things get too tough. 

In the current climate where organisations are judged on their position in a league table managers and teams are inevitably faced with demanding performance targets, expected to deliver ambitious efficiencies, find new sources of income and make stringent budget savings. With great effort managers and teams will deliver on these demanding expectations but inevitably they will fail at some point. How will the organisation and its leadership respond ? How will managers and teams deal with these setbacks ? Will the leadership seek to identify those to blame or draw on the organisations capacity to improve. Will teams bounce back or enter a down ward spiral? 


Recruitment needs to take account not just of an impressive track record of success built on success but what experience has the individual of failure, when things went wrong did they hang around to put it right or did the jump ship before it hit the rocks. They may have risen quickly but has this been a case of two years here 18 months there never staying long enough to face a real challenge or be found out?


Even those who can boast a CV containing examples of turning failing organisation around may be hiding a lack of resilience after all if you come in when the team or organisation is at rock bottom it can only go up. More impressive is the manager who witnessed the decline, who experienced the disappointments,the frustrations and the set backs yet rose to the challenge, inspired staff and led the bounce back.



Blair McPherson former director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk 


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Kauser Jan 3 Years Ago

Commented on your post but it appears to have vanished into the ether ...so here goes again ( does this mean I am being resilient??? lol). 

Got to say that i found myself nodding to your article - yes how agree that we need to ensure we are resilient and it saddens and frustrates me that those such as myself who might be described as a tortoise are mocked by the Hares.


Thank you for sharing your insight.