The D-Suite: Your Untapped Leadership Resource

SPONSORED: Leadership roles close to but outside the C-suite can be dangerous for individuals and a glass ceiling within organisations. New insights described by Management Today as a ‘quiet revolution in the world of elites’ can turn this situation around.

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With enough talent, elan and hard work, any of us can make it to the top – so we are told. Be transparent; please bosses and clients; take responsibility; be hungry for feedback. Do this and the world is your oyster. But is it? 

Thirty years of experience in and around C-suites told me that this was not the whole story. But it took completing a doctorate in how we select people for senior roles before I could explain what I experienced. 

The picture captures the key insight. Performing at the top of a meritocratic pyramid is a uniquely tough gig. Those who do it – our top leaders and C-suites – deserve respect. But the way meritocracy works leads us to under-rate the skills needed to deliver in the next tier (call it the D-suite), and the tier below that. 

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