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Hudson's Leadership Derailers

Running off the Rails: Hudson's Leadership Derailers

A common perspective around leadership is that an individual should capitalise on their strengths. While we believe in the importance of a talent-oriented approach focusing on the strengths of individuals, accurately identifying someone’s pitfalls and derailers is also of importance to making the right decisions for hiring, promotion and development.

What is derailing? In designing Hudson’s derailer model, we have drawn on two divergent streams of thinking within literature: derailers as ‘over-used strengths’ and as ‘negative or dark side’ behaviours. In line with this, we define derailing as failing to reach your leadership potential as a result of an over-used strength or dark side behaviour.

Why does it matter?

* Source: Hudson’s Leadership Survey ANZ 2015
** Source: ‘The Quick Wins Paradox’, Harvard Business Review, January 2009, Van Buren M. E., Safferstone T.

It’s rare for someone not to have at least 1 derailer. It’s how you identify and manage them that’s key to not allowing them to be the downfall of the leader. Building self-awareness is key to managing derailment risk – forewarned is forearmed.

Hudson has identified 5 derailers associated with each of the leadership elements within our new model. Which one do you think you are? Do you recognise your boss or a colleague in one of the derailers described below?

THE RENEGADE
VISION HEADSTRONG
LEADERSHIP ELEMENT: VISION
Creating a compelling vision for the future, combining the gathering of complex information from different sources with out-of-the-box thinking

DERAILER: HEADSTRONG
When managing information, the ‘Renegade’ may create a vision that isn’t aligned with broader corporate objectives or other stakeholders’ goals, or fail to take into account other contextual factors. As a result, they can be seen by others as headstrong but lacking in judgement and misguided.

THE BULLDOZER
ACTION INSENSITIVE
LEADERSHIP ELEMENT: ACTION
Managing uncertainty and change effectively, while showing courage; resilience and the ability to make sound decisions

DERAILER: INSENSITIVE
When managing tasks, the ‘Bulldozer’ may focus too much on action and results, running the risk of overlooking the human factor and showing a lack of interest in or awareness of the feelings of others. They may often be described as detached and interpersonally insensitive, and sometimes even intimidating. They may also jump to hasty conclusions and adopt a command-and-control style of leadership, without showing regard for history or culture.

THE MICROMANAGER
IMPACT MICROMANAGING
LEADERSHIP ELEMENT: IMPACT
Inspiring others to unleash their potential and talent by creating a shared sense of purpose and a learning culture

DERAILER: MICROMANAGING
When managing people, the ‘Micromanager’ may stay too involved in decisions or the actual implementation of ideas and tasks (rather than delegating responsibility). They may appear to be anxious and tense, especially when they do not have control, and/or have a lack of confidence in self or others’ capability. This may also contribute to creating a culture of distrust that disempowers staff.

THE PEOPLE PLEASER
CONNECTION AMENABLE
LEADERSHIP ELEMENT: CONNECTION
Embracing and leveraging diversity across perspectives and cultures while fostering positive emotions in others

DERAILER: AMENABLE
The ‘People Pleaser’ may find it difficult to act independently, make unpopular decisions or go against the status quo, as they can be overly concerned about being disliked or criticised. While they are likely to be pleasant and agreeable on the surface, they typically avoid confrontation, have trouble saying ‘no’ and, as a result, are more likely to demonstrate passive aggressive behaviours.

THE EGO
DRIVE SELF-CENTRED
LEADERSHIP ELEMENT: DRIVE
Confidently pursuing challenging career goals with a thirst for learning and appetite for feedback

DERAILER: SELF-CENTRED
Preoccupied with their own career aspirations and desire to stand out, the ‘Ego’ may come across as self-centred and competitive. They may also be perceived by others as somewhat superficial or lacking in humility as a result of their tendency to manage others’ impressions. At times, this derailer may also be associated with strong negative reactions to feedback and/or manipulative behaviours.

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HUDSON
Hudson is a global talent solutions company. We help transform the workplace and unleash the full potential of organizations and individuals. Our expert team and proprietary tools provide you with unique insights and services that help you maximize your success. Across 20 countries, we deliver a range of recruitment, talent management and recruitment process outsourcing solutions to get you and your business where you want to be.