Psychologist and author of “Insight” Tasha Eurich explains “CEO Disease,” which is when someone works their way up the corporate ladder and get’s less self-aware. The following is a transcript of the video.
CEO disease is a very well supported phenomenon where the higher you ascend on the corporate ladder the less self-aware you become.
What happens when you’re at the top of the food chain, in particular, is the standards for performance are murkier. You are usually in a much more visible role and quite often people are afraid to speak truth to power. And that’s you.
So what I recommend for someone wanting to address that or make sure that they are fighting against it is to really do two things. Number one is to create a safe environment where people tell each other the truth. And there a lot of ways to do this but one of the most powerful is to be vulnerable yourself.
And that’s the opposite of what a lot of executives think they should be doing, but if you say, “I didn’t do that as well as I wanted to.” Or, “Maybe that investor call didn’t go quite as well as I wanted it to. How can we make it better the next time?”
As much as you can show that you’re imperfect, it earns that trust and that respect so that people will be more likely to tell you the truth. But that’s not enough.
So the second action I recommend is to find one what I call ‘loving critic.’ What you want to do is find someone who you know wants you to be successful, number one, and number two is willing to give you the good, the bad, and the ugly about your performance.
You don’t have to go ask every single person that works under you, in fact, I recommend that you don’t do that, but if you can find one or two of these loving critics and hear their feedback about how you’re doing, it can go a long way in treating CEO disease.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.