The Key Concerns of Top Executives

July 2, 2006

In Manfred Kets de Vries‘ presentation at the recent ISPSO conference he highlighted the key concerns of top executives. I captured 9 of them and there may have been more – but here you go:
1 Interpersonal conflict
2 Management of disappointment
3 Nobel Prize complex – can I be number 1?
4 Feeling like an imposter/fake
5 Faust syndrome (boredom)
6 Life balance
7 Fuck you money – how much money is enough?
8 Relationships with others
9 Body stress
I found this list fascinating – because all of these issues are “personal” and “inter-personal” – I don’t see much here in the way of organisational or business angst – even the issue of “fuck you money” is one of value and how we know what we are worth. It appears that there comes a time when existential issues take over. There’s much to think about that relates to every level of organisational functioning in here – leadership, power, politics, management etc etc… I’m sure this list could be extended by miles. I also suspect this list could be re-drawn for different stages of career development (mmm I might think about that a bit more).
On a side issue, number 2 is the precise topic I’m researching for my PhD and to be honest, there is not much in the way of management literature about this subject (which presents a great challenge and opportunity for me naturally!).

10 People reacted on this

  1. I wonder how this compares to the concerns of the Entreprenial Manager.
    Interesting area for a PhD, “Management of Disappointment” – is this expectations, resilience, morale etc

  2. Donagh – yes, disappointment is linked to all of those things. It’s early days yet but the emerging data is fascinating!

  3. I’d be very interested in discussing your disappointment data.
    Again your findings must be be very different for large corporates as opposed to smaller enterpreneurial organisations

  4. I’m at the early stages of research Donagh so I won’t be publishing anything (here or elsewhere) for a very long time but if you’ve anything you’d like to contribute, then I’d be delighted to hear from you

  5. “Interpersonal conflict” at number one confirmed something I have observed for some time.
    I use to tell clients that their people skills will fail them long before the technology does. They doubted it, but usually admitted I was right. That was when I served as an Internet business strategist.
    Now that my work is primarily with creative brand delelopment the same remains true. Unwilling to face interpersonal conflict leaders fail to establish organizational cultures that will support the brand they want to have.
    Your work sounds fascinating…and it is MUCH needed. Thanks for enlarging the conversation with your blog postings.

  6. Hi Michael and thanks for stopping by. Interpersonal conflict doesn’t surprise me at all in the number 1 slot – let’s face it, it’s probably number one in most of our personal lives as well – add in the politics and it’s a very volitile issue…

  7. Annette – good point. Maybe we “hope” against reason that in business our interpersonal conflict can be set aside. I imagine we can talk ourselves into believing anything.

  8. “Fuck you money” means that you have enough money to walk away from your employer without serious financial consequences so you don’t have to play the political games in order to keep your job

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