The Leader Undone: When the Wheels Come Off!

Dennis McCallum observed that “The biggest problem with many of us is that we are soft from too much success. We are like a child riding a bike on training wheels who thinks he has actually learned to ride.  His parents warn him, “It’s a little harder when you take the wheels off,” but until you actually do take them off, the kid continues to enjoy a false sense of mastery.  Once the wheels come off, the child may have to endure a few nasty crackups that could lead to tears, and even a refusal to ride any more.  But without removing the wheels, he will never learn to ride.”

McCallum added that “Leaders accustomed to nothing but success become, themselves, hard to lead.  They are always convinced they are right, and will fight to preserve their base as though their self-worth depended on it, which it often does. In their dread of failure, they may become downright unethical and manipulative.  They find it hard to listen to the wisdom of others because they can’t help but observe that their own ideas seem to be working perfectly well.” The above observations raise a number of interesting questions including whether success is the precursor to failure, and conversely if failure is the precursor and a prerequisite to success.

Returning to the PI Window on Business Show on Tuesday, October 20th at 12:30 PM EDT to share both his research and corresponding insights on the characteristics that tend to derail leaders and render them ineffective is acclaimed author and lecturer Dr. John Ullmen.

Questions such as why success can contribute to poor leadership and ultimately failure for some, while the fear of success is a daunting barrier to others will be examined and discussed in the context of historical reference and present day situations.

Dr. John Ullmen, Ph.D.

Dr. John Ullmen, Ph.D.

About John:

John Ullmen, Ph.D., lectures on leadership for the UCLA Anderson School of Management in the MBA, FEMBA and EMBA programs, and he delivers custom Executive Education programs as well. In addition to leadership, his areas of teaching and research interest include building professional relationships and networks, managing conflict, exercising influence, and team effectiveness.

Based on his ongoing research and practice, he has published numerous assessment instruments, articles and books, including:

Don’t Kill the Bosses: Escaping the Hierarchy Trap (coauthored with Sam Culbert)

Invisible Bridges: Building Professional Relationships for Results (coauthored with Melissa Karz)

Which Bird Gets Heard? How to Have Impact Even in a Flock (coauthored with Kathryn Stanley)

Who Wins? Handling Conflict Creatively (currently in publication)

As Managing Director of Ullmen Associates, LLC, an organizational effectiveness firm, John has extensive coaching and consulting experience at the senior management and CEO level. His clients span a wide range of Fortune 500 firms and industry leaders in technology, media/entertainment, consumer products, healthcare, finance, real estate, professional services, defense and government agencies.

John began his career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force, where he served as a lead systems engineer for a top-secret Joint Chiefs of Staff intelligence program. He holds a B.S. from the USAF Academy, a Master of Public Policy from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from UCLA.

John is a frequent keynote speaker for organizations and business events. He also holds a patent in the field of travel commerce granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. John lives in Woodland Hills, CA.

Use the following links to access and learn more about Ullmen Associates,  as well as Dr. Ullmen’s Books & Tools.

Access the live broadcast of “The Leader Undone: When the Wheels Come Off” on Tuesday, October 20th between 12:30 and 1:30 PM EDT through the On-Demand Player below:

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