At the top of companies there are often exceptional talents who are more efficient and more assertive than competitors. They are people who are extremely quick in absorbing, structuring, analyzing and processing information and who make decisive decisions. This gives you a high level of self-confidence and apparently less self-reflection in the long run than before.

When exceptional talents fail

But such exception managers also fail. You fail because of your own ego and the lack of self-reflection. More and more often, top managers who were recently celebrated by the business magazines become “failures” apparently overnight, because it turns out that they have made mistakes or even lie and cheat. The negotiations against AUDI manager Ruppert Stadler with the points: fraud, indirect false certification and criminal advertising have only recently started in Munich. Ex-Bertelsmann manager Thomas Middelhoff is currently in a prison for tax evasion and infidelity, similar to Renault-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn.

Top managers often do not reflect

Top managers often have a large number of consultants and also coaches. Both in the company and in private. But the problem is that top managers who have proven in their careers that they can lead organizations more successfully than their competitors are alpha tier. This shapes their self-image and their behavior.

Even at the highest level, these exceptional talents often only trust themselves. It is important to perceive the change in the system and redefine your own task. It is also important to question your own principles and recipes for success from the past. The world is constantly changing. This fact, too, makes you so resistant to change that you do not understand yourself.

Reflect on your own character

Reflection is a key factor in becoming a better leader, a study said TUM Professor for Research and Science Management. The study shows that top managers who spend more time reflecting with coaches and actively gathering feedback on their own performance are significantly more successful. It also found that managers with little time for self-reflection were less successful. The study also cites international studies that show that just 15 minutes of self-reflection per day can increase performance by 25%.


Therefore, keep putting your own behavior to the test. I am currently doing a study on this, which will soon be evaluated on the blog. I am currently doing a study on this, which will soon be evaluated on the blog. The survey runs from May to August and can be found here.

Update: This is currently before publication in the magazine for Organizational development . I think it will be released around September.


I blog about the influence of digitalization on our working world. For this purpose, I provide content from science in a practical way and show helpful tips from my everyday professional life. I am an executive in an SME and I wrote my doctoral thesis at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg at the Chair of IT Management.

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