Ron Carucci on Rising to Power: The Journey of Exceptional Executives (Transcript)

So from the very beginning, many of these leaders with promising talent and otherwise important contributions failed because they had this mandate that they believed they had to follow, that they should have never followed. Well, so let’s play this out.

So what happens when I’m trying to slap on this formula of success you told me you wanted, and it’s not working? What have you seen happen to the person who’s not being able to get traction? What do you see in them? They get frustrated. And why are they frustrated? They’re not making impact. And they were told to make impact.

So my first conclusion about why I’m not making impact is usually not, it must be me. Right? It’s usually you didn’t– I go to the hiring manager. You didn’t tell me it was this bad. Or, you didn’t tell me they were this resistant. And so now my diagnosis of what’s not working becomes an indictment and a judgment of why they can’t get this brilliant thing that I brought. Right?

What happens when those around this person feel indicted by their presence? And usually it sounds like this. Well, at Apple, we– or, well, at Microsoft, what we did was– and what are people saying in the hallway? If I hear one more story about where they came from– right? So now, the minute they start talking, when I was– that’s it. I’ve tuned out. What comes next could be brilliant. It could be an amazing solution to the problem we’re solving. I am not going to hear it, because I don’t give a crap about where you learned it.

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