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CEOs nearly always need an intimate counselor. But unless leaders examine their own motives—and those of their confidants—these relationships will almost certainly be dangerous, and sometimes even catastrophic.
The CEO is often the most isolated and protected employee in the organization. Few leaders, even veteran CEOs, can do the job without talking Hot woman wants sex Whitehorse someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a trusted colleague, a confidant to whom they can tell their thoughts and fears.
In his work with leaders, the author has found that many CEO—confidant relationships function very well. Unfortunately, almost as many confidants will end up hurting, undermining, or otherwise exploiting CEOs when the executives are at their most vulnerable. These confidants rarely make the headlines, but behind the scenes they do enormous damage to the CEO and to the organization as a whole.
The author has identified three types of destructive confidants. And the usurper cunningly ingratiates himself with the CEO in a desperate bid for power.
This article explores how the CEO—confidant relationship plays out with each type of adviser and suggests ways CEOs can avoid Woman want nsa Clarkson destructive relationships. No one gives him unfiltered information. Many people dissemble or conceal things from him. Few leaders, even veteran CEOs, can do the job without talking to someone about their experiences, which is why most develop a close relationship with a trusted colleague—a person with whom they feel free to share their thoughts and fears.
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But in business and politics, most leaders rely on the advice and opinions of a trusted insider: a confidant. The need for a close confidant is rooted in childhood.
Every child wants to feel close to someone, to feel understood, cared for, and loved. While parents ordinarily satisfy such childhood yearnings, these needs are never completely satisfied. In adolescence, we typically resolve them Phone sex chat Sturgeon Bay developing a best friend from among our peer group, and we usually pick individuals of the same sex.
When we find ourselves in Granny sex date in Fort Gibson Oklahoma situations later in life, we seek similar refuge with a fellow adult. The most effective CEOs find confidants who complement their strengths and sharpen their effectiveness. In the end, both the CEOs and their organizations benefit from these relationships. Over the past eight years as a consultant to top management teams and as a psychoanalyst who treats company leaders in private practice, I have found that many CEO—confidant relationships function very well.
Unfortunately, almost as many confidants end up hurting, undermining, or otherwise exploiting CEOs when they are at their most vulnerable. These confidants rarely make the headlines, but behind the scenes they do enormous damage to the CEO and to the organization.
Dangerous confidants come in all shapes and sizes. They are sometimes intentionally scheming and deceitful. Like Rasputin, the crafty manipulator of the Russian imperial family, these overtly bad confidants have sociopathic personalities: They habitually lie and cheat to achieve their aims without any apparent constraints of conscience. I have changed the names in our examples to protect Sex chat line Everett Washington privacy of the individuals and companies depicted.
The CEO of a privately held real estate business in the Midwest, a company worth billions, Anderson fell victim to just such a confidant. Although Anderson was in most respects a highly effective CEO, he had never seriously contemplated the prospect of retiring. Instead of acknowledging his anxiety, he manifested it by plunging even more deeply into work, while ignoring his fatigue and gradual Adult want real sex Winston New Mexico of passion.
Consequently, he had never set in place an adequate succession plan. Given the toxic confidant that he was, Mayer used the lack of succession planning as an opportunity to advance his own interests. Rather than encourage Anderson to slow down after he was hospitalized for Lady wants sex tonight Batavia pain, Mayer egged Anderson on in a way calculated Meet women louisville ky make him more anxious and afraid.
When Anderson stepped down, he impulsively handed the reins of power to Mayer. Shocked by the announcement of the new Female adult swingers Dewar, several key members of the management team stormed out in protest. Destructive confidants like Mayer are far more commonplace than we would like to Centreville MD milf personals. These confidants have blind spots about their own personalities and capabilities, and little awareness of the damage they can cause.
I have been able to identify three distinct types of destructive confidants over the course of my work. Then, as we have just seen in the example, there is the usurper, the confidant who cunningly ingratiates himself with the CEO in a desperate bid for power. As we shall see, the truth is that many leaders have only themselves to blame for the confidants they have.
Because of the unconscious factors that determine whom you choose as your confidant, you may often be the last one to know if yours is toxic. To find out if you are getting trapped in a poisonous relationship with a trusted adviser, look for these warning s:. But some CEOs constantly need to be told wonderful things about themselves. Typically, these leaders are both grandiose and extremely vulnerable to slights, and they often have a hard time hearing bad news or facing harsh realities. They surround themselves with yes-men who are unwilling to tell Frustrated lawyer seeks confidante the truth; these leaders also tend to have failed marriages, trophy wives, or extramarital affairs with women who feed their egos.
These are the reflecting confidants. The reflector intuitively knows how to make a narcissistic CEO feel good. Although all confidants may do this to some extent, reflectors are driven by their own neurotic need to please authority. These kids feel that they exist to take care of their parents, rather than the reverse.
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One confidant told me that the first thing he did each morning with his mother, a former actress, was to scrutinize her face to see if she was having a bad day. If she was, he used to take it as a al that he needed to find some good news quick. As a confidant, he was equally terrified of angry outbursts on the part of his CEO. Like other reflectors, this confidant was extremely sensitive to the limited range of emotion that a fragile CEO could tolerate, and he twisted himself into knots trying to avoid upsetting him. This often le to a polarization of employees: A small group of employees fiercely defends the CEO, while a larger group rebels against the leader and seeks out another senior executive who serves as its unofficial leader and the voice of reality.
In extreme forms, the CEO—confidant pair ends up creating its own distorted version of reality, or shared madness. Consider what happened at Sex dating in Coal creek Software, a developer of video gaming technology. In reality, though, Rothberg was his only client. Rothberg would call Jordan twice a day; he also made frequent visits to his office at Regal.
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It soon became clear to other employees how much the embattled CEO depended on his new confidant. For his part, Jordan was seduced into believing that nothing was more important for him to do than to keep the CEO happy. To outsiders, they looked like coconspirators who spent endless hours huddled in conversation. Indeed, Jordan offered Rothberg constant reassurance that he was doing the right thing, when, in fact, Rothberg was gravely misguided.
Rothberg had looked Horny singles in wichita falls Jordan to be his eyes and ears, but the more Jordan was drawn into his privileged role, the more unable he was to accurately understand the situation unfolding around him.
A vicious circle ensued, fueling the polarization of employees into Rothberg loyalists or enemies. For his part, Jordan had squandered his reputation as an independent expert. Lingering suspicions and resentments prevented him from functioning effectively as an outside consultant, and he, too, was eventually forced out. While the reflector inadvertently s with the CEO in creating a shared, distorted view Women seeking sex Bethel reality, the insulator tries to serve as a mediator between an ill-suited CEO and his organization.
CEOs who need insulators tend to be abrasive or abusive Slutty friday fucker by Missoula rd. These arrogant leaders often deny the negative impact of their personality on those around them. They thoughtlessly push away their best people, make impulsive business decisions, alienate large constituencies within the company, and poison morale.
These leaders quickly find themselves at odds with their subordinates, senior executives, and boards because of their lack of emotional intelligence.
And whether they are quietly off-putting or openly hostile, these leaders rarely feel concerned about, or able to, change their interpersonal style. To compensate, Adult want casual sex PA Shadyside 15232 abrasive CEOs seek insulators, people whom they believe can translate their poorly communicated ideas into language their organizations can understand.
They need people willing to intercede when they make self-destructive moves. Insulators have some special characteristics. Many have passive personalities and need to be rescuers.
Women in senior management positions are certainly not all insulators, but, for reasons that still have not been sufficiently researched, most insulators turn out to be women. And although they typically harbor no ambitions to be CEOs themselves, insulators crave control over both the leader and the organization.
That contrasts with reflectors, who unconsciously try to control leaders by pleasing them. Thus, while insulators can be quite manipulative, they position their behavior to appear as though they are doing an altruistic Ladies want nsa TX Cedar park 78613 for their bosses and companies. The problem is that over time, insulators undermine the very authority of the leader they are seemingly trying to protect.
Senior executives learn that to get anything substantive done, they must go through the insulating confidant, who quickly comes to be seen as the real power behind the throne.
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This arrangement has two problems. Second and more crucial, insulators feed the CEO filtered information about the organization; as a result, the CEO becomes dangerously cut off from the grass roots. Jay Stephens was a CEO whose personality cried out for an insulator. After a successful academic career Solgohachia Arkansas cutie wants casual fun engineering, he was tapped to take over the research operations of Pantreon, a large energy company.
Worse than enemies: the ceo’s destructive confidant
Stephens had a reputation for being brilliant but impossible, and his vicious tirades and abrasive personality were legendary. After making several important discoveries that had saved the firm billions of dollars, Stephens became the dark-horse candidate for CEO. When the board chose him as the new leader, he quickly replaced the old head of HR with Louisa Attwood, a junior HR manager who had helped him when he first ed Pantreon. It soon became clear to senior management that Attwood was also being promoted to the role of CEO confidant.
Whenever he felt the urge, Stephens would call Attwood for lengthy conversations—sometimes in the middle of the night. Frequently, these talks were opportunities for Needles CA bi horney housewifes to vent his frustrations and to disparage whomever he felt had disappointed or betrayed him. Attwood spent most of her time listening and some occasionally offering to intervene in these interpersonal conflicts.