Handling Setbacks

Harvard Business Review looked at 450 CEO successions in 4 years.  35% of the CEOs who were ousted from one company proceeded to take a similar role at a larger company where they ended up being the same or more successful.  What is the difference between those who bounce back and those who do not?

Often it comes down to mindset and how the leader handles the setback.  Getting fired from a high-profile position can happen for a variety of reasons – some of which are out of the leader’s control.  Because they are at the top, they can be the fall guy or girl when times are tough.

After this happens, the leader has some choices – step down into a lower executive position, move into a lower-profile position out of the public eye (such as to the Board of Directors), or seek out a new company. 

When leaders have a well-constructed plan and follow the steps that we’ve mentioned above, they can fight back and convince others of their worthiness to lead again.  Other leaders choose a different path, albeit not at the top position.  Others are never heard from again.  The difference comes down to resilience and their plan to bounce back how they choose to. In the end, it always comes down to a choice.