Preventing derailment: What to do before it’s too late

By Michael M. Lombardo & Robert W. Eichinger
Center for Creative Leadership


Many of the strengths that lead high-potential managers to early promotions become weaknesses. Many new managers, for example rely too heavily on the technical or problem-solving strengths that have propelled them upward and fail to understand the interdependence required, or the diversity of what they must cope with in order to continue to be effective as managers. Much derailment is an organizational and human waste that in our experience is largely preventable. This report is aimed at a specific population, those with potential for future leadership and executive roles who show early signs of not making it. Additionally, our recommendations focus on effective learning practices in management roles an have broader application for management development in general.


Lombardo, M. M., & Eichinger, R. W. (2001). Preventing derailment: What to do before it’s too late (Technical Report No. 138). Center for Creative Leadership.

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