At the top of companies are often exceptional talents, who are more efficient and assertive than competitors. They are people who are extremely fast in recording, structuring, analyzing and processing information and who decide decisively. As a result, they have a high degree of self-confidence and apparently less self-reflection in the long run than before.

When exceptional talents fail

But even such exceptional managers fail. They fail at their own ego and the little self-reflection. More and more often, top managers, who were recently celebrated by business magazines, seem to become “failures” overnight, because it turns out that they have made mistakes or even lie and cheat. Only recently will the trial against AUDI manager Ruppert Stadler start with the point: fraud, indirect false information and criminal advertising in Munich. Ex-Bertelsmann manager Thomas Middelhoff is also currently in prison for tax evasion and infidelity, similar to Renault-Nissan BOSS Carlos Ghosn.

Top managers often do not reflect

Top managers often have many consultants and also coaches. Both in the company and in private. But the problem is that it’s those top managers who are alpha animals who have proven in their careers that they can run organizations more successfully than their competitors. This shapes their self-image and behaviour.

Even at the highest level, these exceptional talents often rely only on themselves. It is important to perceive the change in the system and to redefine one’s own task. To this end, it is also necessary to question the own principles and recipes for success of the past. The world is constantly changing. This fact also makes you so resistant to change, which you do not understand yourself.

Reflect your own character

Reflection is a key factor on the road to better leadership, said a study by the TUM professor of research and science management. The study shows that top managers who spend more time reflecting with coaches actively seek feedback on their own performance, have significantly more success. It also found that managers had less success with little time for self-reflection. The study also cites international studies showing that just 15 minutes of self-reflection per day can boost performance by 25%.


Therefore, always put your own behaviors to the test. To this end, I am currently carrying out a study, which will soon be evaluated on the blog. To this end, I am currently carrying out a study, which will soon be evaluated on the blog. The survey runs from May to August and can be found here.

Update: This is currently available before publication in the journal for organizational development. I think it will be released in September about.

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I blog about the impact of digitalization on our working environment. For this purpose, I present content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday work. I am a manager in an SME myself and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the chair of IT Management.

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