How Rewarding is the CEO Job? So-So

August 02, 2010

How Rewarding is the CEO Job? So-So

How rewarding can the job of CEO be afterall?  Research by NYSEEuroNext and ORC asked global CEOs this very question and they were not asking about compensation. That’s a whole other subject.
Turns out that 50% of CEOs in 2010 say that the job is more rewarding now vs. three years ago.  This is a nice lift from one year ago in 2009 when 38% said it was more rewarding.  Apparently 2008 was a better year since 60% of CEOs said it was more rewarding than three years earlier. The bounce back in 2010, however,  is heartening considering how tough the job has become and how bad the economy has been altogether. Alas, lets not overlook that one out of two CEOs this year are not chiming in that the job is more rewarding vs. three years ago.  One of the reasons may be that a full 97% or just about every CEO says that the job is more time-consuming that it was three years ago and this high figure has not changed over the past five years. No matter what year, the CEO job never ends just because it is the weekend or post dinner hours. The world has been turned on its head and the job is undeniably 24/7.

Interestingly, non-US CEOs see the job as more rewarding than US CEOs (62% vs. 40%), a pattern that has held for five years. What do non-US CEOs know that US CEOs don’t know about enjoying their lives? Perhaps they worry less about their reputations but I don’t think that is the case. Perhaps non-US CEOs don’t jump online every minute to read all the uncivil comments that are written about them by dissatisfied customers or former employees? Or perhaps non-US CEOs have more time off on vacation to recharge their batteries and unwind.  Since more non-US CEOs have separate chairmen, perhaps they get to share some of the responsibility of leadership which makes the job nore rewarding vs. here in the US where the trend is still predominantly CEOs and chairmen being one and the same. Would require deeper analysis but is a thought.

Let’s hope that 2011 shows a continued trend to adding some more enjoyment into the job — especially because CEO leadership does impact us all, one way or the other. We certainly don’t need strung out leaders at the helm.

[Not sure why I chose a hammock as my graphic but I thought that perhaps CEOs need to kick back alittle in August]

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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