Erik Jackson's Forbes column showed up at the top of LinkedIn today, remembering an article (and book) from eight years ago: The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives.
Sydney Finkelstein, the Steven Roth Professor of Management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, published “Why Smart Executives Fail” 8 years ago.
The "anti-habits" discussed here are familiar, but good reminders. The thing that caught my attention, though, is are "warning signs" associated with each of the habits. Specifically, the first habit is "They see themselves and their companies as dominating their environment." And the warning sign? A lack of respect.
Respect for others is something that the elementary school is attempting to impress upon my children. The fact that it needs to be taught suggests that it isn't something that comes naturally - or that it is easily unlearned. If I don't respect the people around me and the environment in which I operate, I stop watching for opportunities to grow. I stop watching for the mistakes that I will inevitably make. Yes, I make mistakes. So do you. So do your colleagues and friends and opponents. It's those mistakes that give me an opportunity to learn and grow and see things from new perspectives.
Without a healthy respect, I start taking on more and more of the anti-habits discussed by Finkelstein.
The why smart executives fail website appears to be a treasure trove of case studies and reference materials on failures of leadership and management. If you are interested in that kind of thing.
[Photo: "failure" by Beat Küng - cool stop action of an incandescent lightbulb failing]