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How do successful executives evolve?

Have you ever wondered why some people are able to climb the corporate ladder higher or faster than others? Aside from the inevitable political reasons, there is some interesting research that has been published recently in The Harvard Business Review. The research identifies four decision-making styles in business. It also identifies a clear shift in styles as you move from supervisor to a senior executive role.

The four styles:

1. Decisive Style: Little information and one course of action. It is related to task-oriented, direct, efficient, fast and firm managers.

2. Flexible: Little information but many options. This is about speed and adaptability – decisions can change with shifting situations.

3. Hierarchic: Lots of data, but one course of action. This is about being intellectual in nature. All decisions are final.

4. Integrative: Lots of data and lots of options. It involves creativity, inputs from many sources and multiple courses of action.

Researchers discovered that the most successful executives are more likely to have a "decisive" style early in their careers. They may evolve to a "hierarchic" style as they move up the career ladder, and, ultimately, they adapt their style to that of "flexible" and "integrative". Those who didn’t evolve their styles were most likely to stall and not move into a senior executive role.

The question that I have for you is this – in what ways have you evolved your leadership style in the past 12 months? We often like to read about change, and talk about change, but to what extent are you changing?

To get some advice on how to begin the process of change, set up an appointment with us for an Initial Consultation (/). After all, how valuable is your future?

On that note, I wanted to let you know about an upcoming OCRI event. OCRI, the Ottawa Centre for Research and Innovation, is hosting an interactive workshop to help you maximize you career potential and plan your next step along your career track. The event is being held on February 24, 2006 at the Holiday Inn Select Hotel & Suites in Ottawa-West, Kanata. To register, please visit their website at http://www.ocri.ca/events/registration.html.