Bill Perez contributed significantly to the growth of S.C. Johnson but then he became CEO of Nike and flamed out in barely a year. The problem: "The cultural leap was too great," Nike Chairman Phil Knight said at the time. This kind of cultural mismatch -- over differing notions of hierarchy and innovative limits, for example -- rather than knowledge or competence, explains why 40% of top executives last less than 18 months. The authors of this article suggest a two-part fix.
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