On leadership derailment

Leadership derailment refers to the process of a leader's career trajectory being side-tracked or derailed due to various factors such as negative behaviours, poor decision-making, or external circumstances. Derailment can occur at any stage of a leader's career, from early career stages to top-level executive positions.

Leadership derailment can manifest in different ways, but common signs include:

  1. Poor performance: A leader may experience poor performance and may struggle to meet performance targets or achieve goals.

  2. Difficulty in building relationships: A leader may find it challenging to establish and maintain good relationships with peers, employees, or customers, which can negatively impact their ability to influence others and achieve goals.

  3. Inability to adapt to change: A leader may struggle to adapt to changing circumstances and may resist or struggle with new ideas, technologies, or ways of working.

  4. Ethical lapses: A leader may engage in unethical behaviour, such as lying, cheating, or manipulating, which can damage their reputation and credibility.

  5. Arrogance or excessive self-confidence: A leader may become overly confident and may believe they are invulnerable to failure or criticism, which can lead to complacency and poor decision-making.

Leadership derailment can be caused by a range of factors, including personal factors such as personality traits or emotional intelligence, organizational factors such as culture or structure, or external factors such as market conditions or changes in technology.

To prevent leadership derailment, it is important for leaders to be self-aware and to continuously monitor their own behaviours and actions. Seeking feedback from others and being open to learning and development opportunities can also help leaders avoid derailment and maintain a successful career trajectory. The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) developed by Hogan Assessments can help to understand these behaviours.

The Hogan Development Survey (HDS) measures 11 dimensions of personality that are commonly referred to as "dark side" traits, which may interfere with an individual's ability to perform effectively in a leadership role. The dimensions measured by the HDS are:

Excitable: Tendency to become easily overwhelmed, emotional, and impulsive under stress.

Sceptical: Tendency to be suspicious, cynical, and mistrustful of others.

Cautious: Tendency to be overly cautious, risk-averse, and indecisive.

Reserved: Tendency to be distant, aloof, and unapproachable.

Leisurely: Tendency to procrastinate, be slow-paced, passive, and unmotivated.

Bold: Tendency to be overly self-confident, resistant to feedback, and prone to taking unnecessary risks.

Mischievous: Tendency to be rebellious, nonconforming, and prone to breaking rules or norms.

Colourful: Tendency to be attention-seeking, disruptive, and self-promoting.

Imaginative: Tendency to be visionary, eccentric, unrealistic, and unconventional.

Diligent: Tendency to be overly detail-oriented, perfectionistic, and inflexible.

Dutiful: Tendency to be rule-bound, conventional, and overly reliant on authority.

Each dimension is measured on a scale from low to high, with individuals falling at different points along the scale for each dimension. The results of the HDS can help individuals and organisations identify potential performance risks and areas of development, as well as provide insight into how to leverage strengths and mitigate potential derailers.

Awair is an accredited distributor of the Hogan Development Survey (HDS). Get in touch to find out how Awair can help you become certified to administer and interpret Hogan Assessments.