Your performance in a large organisation gets you noticed and you’re head-hunted for a high-profile post. Four years on and you are again head hunted for a top job.

‘Once you were a rising star, now you are battling to keep your job. So what changed?’

Then a year into the new job you are taken to task over your performance in your previous role. You are accused of not revealing the true extent of the problems you encountered, of persistently presenting too positive a view of progress and of giving reassurances that were not warranted by the reality on the ground.

Suddenly there are questions about your integrity and doubts about your leadership. Once you were a rising star, now you are battling to keep your job. So what changed?

Internal power struggle

Was it the person who took over your old job who found the skeletons in the closet, or did they just have a vested interest in overstating the problems they inherited? Was it the aggrieved former colleague who blew the whistle on an undeserved reputation? Was it a critical inspection report that caused a reassessment of your period in charge?

Are the people who now accuse you of too much spin the same ones who were unduly concerned with protecting the image of the organisation? After all, wasn’t it part of your job to talk up performance and show the organisation in the best possible light? Were the reassurances you gave in good faith the same reassurances that your managers were giving you?

Now you face the charge of having lost the confidence of those you report to: how are you supposed to answer? Did you misjudge the situation and back the wrong person in the internal power struggle, or is it just another example of a manager being given too much credit for success and too much blame for failure.