The 5 Behaviors That Derail Executive Careers

Some marketers make it to the top of the firm and some don’t. Why? What causes some careers to derail before they reach the pinnacle? It’s a question that young people ask and mature people ponder even after having working for 30 years. To better understand what derails executives in their march to the corner office, I turned to an executive coach, Susan Robertson, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Stop at Nothing, Inc.

Executive coaches are typically brought in by the board of directors or senior management to help enhance individual impact. In some cases, the executive coaches are brought in to address behavior that is preventing an executive from being effective. In other cases, they are simply a “gift” from the company to help an executive achieve even better performance.

Because of the role that Robertson and her company have played in helping top management team members (e.g., CEO, CMO, CFO, etc.) overcome barriers and achieve better performance, I thought it might be helpful to gain insight on what seem to be the biggest “derailers”—those behaviors that prevent individuals from being as effective as possible. Robertson presented at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and what follows are excerpts from her discussion.