How to Help a Pressure-Cooked CEO

Original Publication: Chief Learning Officer
Original Publication Date: March 4, 2015

When John Williams took office as president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Franciscoin March 2011, he felt what all leaders feel when they move to the top of the house: a huge responsibility to the organization, a desire to positively impact the culture and concern about how he’d be perceived and evaluated by company stakeholders. In other words, a great deal of pressure.

In support of the best selling book Performing Under Pressure, we interviewed Williams and more than 12,000 other people over seven years’ time as part of determining the role pressure plays in the C-suite.

The research showed that all CEOs and senior leaders experience an enormous amount of pressure, even if on the surface it may not appear that way. According to Julie Howard, CEO of Navigant Consulting, another CEO interviewed for the study, “The constant pressure of being a CEO creates hidden stress that is not evident but becomes evident over time.”
What can you do to help your CEO and other senior leaders succeed in the midst of unrelenting pressure in the top jobs? It starts by better understanding the science of pressure: how pressure can affect a CEO’s — or anyone’s — thinking, decision-making, behavior and performance.


Continue reading article at Chief Learning Officer

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