Life Affects Performance, Even for CEOs


My father would say, “I didn’t need a study to tell me that.” CEOs are human like the rest of us. Their performance suffers

  • about 21% for the two years following the death of a child
  • about 25% for the three years following the purchase of a mansion or an estate
  • a less predictable but definite decline in the afterglow of Superstar recognition from major awards or publications
  • from higher risk-taking and wild swingsin profitably for those who are narcissistic

As the WSJ’s(subscription may be required) Mark Maremont notes in his blog, the devastation of losing a child does not usually result in a rededication to doing our best at work. These studies remind us of our humanity, and help us to put our arms around how much impact it really has. My father was right; we did know that. What we didn’t know was how much it mattered.  

The thought from branes: Organizations ARE the people that are in them. Refusing to isolate the human from the task not only makes the workplace a more respectful place to be, it makes it a more successful place to be.