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Pressurised Leaders Are at Increased Risk of Exhibiting Extreme Behaviour

Talent Q urges employers to assess existing employees and identify latent issues with potential recruits.

London, United Kingdom, October 28, 2009 --( A white paper from people assessment company, Talent Q, which has researched over 14,000 UK employees, has shown that as the economic squeeze continues, ‘executive derailment’ is a growing phenomena and likelihood. As individuals face increasing pressure to achieve more with less, underlying personality characteristics come to the fore, with the potential to create havoc in organisations.

Dr Alan Bourne, director of Talent Q, said: “Extreme behaviour, such as narcissism or micro-management, can commonly be witnessed when the going gets tough in organisations. It’s a consequence of leaders having quickly progressed up the ladder based on their key strengths, without developing a wider repertoire to sustain them through the more challenging times.”

Talent Q’s research has shown that the potential for derailment varies across functions, for example:


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While some of these results are unsurprising, they have significant implications for organisations, especially when the derailment leads to a missed deadline, lost orders or a demotivated workforce.

“Organisations should ensure that, derailment risks are considered when considering selecting leaders. Once identified, they can be mitigated through coaching and personal development,” concludes Dr Bourne.

The research didn’t indicate any correlation between age and the likelihood of derailment, however it did show that men are more likely than women to be over-confident and that women are more prone to hyper-sensitivity and over-dependence during times of increased workplace stress.

Further information is available about Talent Q’s Dimensions Assessment, which can identify derailment risks, as well as a whitepaper on leadership derailment can be found on the Talent Q website.

For more information please contact:
Andrew Baud, Tala PR, 07775 715775,

Note to editors:
Talent Q enables employers to recruit and manage talent through sophisticated assessment of the personality and intelligence of its people. It is run by highly experienced business psychologists who continue to influence much of the accepted thinking in respect of personality and intelligence and its impact in the workplace. The company has created online assessments that are better, faster and cheaper than anything in use currently.

Personality assessment

- Employers have previously used different personality assessments for recruiting people, developing people and managing teams. Dimensions is unique as it incorporates all measures into a single assessment
- Superior understanding and measurement of the key aspects of personality have allowed Talent Q to reduce the time taken to complete a personality assessment from one hour to half an hour
- Feedback to employers is insightful and actionable. For recruiters, the feedback includes very specific interview questions which help them to further determine candidates’ strengths and weaknesses

Research validity

The findings were based on data from over 14,000 people who have completed Dimensions and provided detailed bio-data. For the purposes of this release, correlations above 0.1 have been regarded as the minimum to be deemed psychological significant (as opposed a 0.03 benchmark usually used to prove statistical significance).

Contact Information
Talent Q
Andrew Baud
07775 715775

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