HBS Alumni Forum Services

CEOs, Heal Your Peers

When CEOs are suffering from personal problems, the effect of support from family and friends is 53% to 79% weaker than support from fellow CEOs in restoring the leaders' overall effectiveness, say Michael L. McDonald of the University of Texas and James D. Westphal of the University of Michigan. Personal problems such as conflict with children or marital issues hurt CEOs' effectiveness because they prompt the chief executives to pull back on important interpersonal behaviors involving subordinate managers, the researchers say.

Source: My Brother's Keeper? CEO Identification with the Corporate Elite, Social Support Among CEOs, and Leader Effectiveness, Academy of Management Journal, August 2011.