The corporate world is filled with talented people who have been moderately successful throughout their middle management careers, but have never grabbed the golden ring of C-suite status. At the top levels, it is rarely competency that separates the top achievers from the rest.
Marshall Goldsmith, widely regarded as one of North America's top CEO coaches, argues in his book, What Got You There Won't Get You Here, that successful leaders must overcome the paradox of excessively focusing on the behaviors that made them successful as it will actually hold them back from further success. Simply put, the drive to win that propels executives up the corporate ladder can prevent them from learning to win through others. Leaders who need to win and be right in everything alienate themselves from the people who can help them leap to greater heights.
These kinds of leaders are rarely aware of how others perceive them. They tend to be impatient, insensitive, hyperactive and insist on their way or the highway. Unfortunately, our current business model supports such behavior, with an excessive focus on business results and shareholder value at the expense of people.