Case Study

The rise and fall of Wade Johnson

5 pages
February 2022
Reference: IMD-7-2349

This is a case of leadership failure. It explores the experience of a leader who was very successful as a CFO and COO but who struggled and ultimately failed when he was promoted to the CEO role. As such, it is an excellent example of a common trap leaders face – “What got you here won’t get you there.” The capabilities and skills that have made you successful in the past are not guaranteed to make you successful in the future, especially at senior levels. Therefore, it’s essential to rethink how one leads and build the required new capabilities whenever taking a new role.

Learning Objective
  • Explore the root cause of leadership failure in the context of taking a new role
  • Understand the impact of situation and personality in contributing to leader derailment
  • Understand how to avoid falling into the comfort-zone trap when facing new challenges
  • Launch a broader discussion about leadership derailers
Leadership Transition, Capability Development, Succession, Leadership Failure, Self-leadership, Personality Influence, New Role
Published Sources
© 2022
Available Languages
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