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May the Odds be Ever in your Favor:  Hunger Games for CEOs?

Businesspeople Running Towards Finish Line --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Just this week we’ve seen the exit of three prominent CEOs—Juul CEO Kevin Burns, EBay’s Devin Wenig, and WeWork founder Adam Neuman went from CEO to non-executive chairman.  The past two years we’ve seen record high rates of turnover among the world’s biggest CEOs, some of them notably dismissed for ethical lapses ranging from sexual misconduct, fraud, bribery and insider trading. According to PwC’s Strategy & CEO Success Study, for the first time in the study’s history, scandals accounted for more departures than poor financial performance or board-level disputes.  Let’s face it, the c-suite provides ample means and opportunity for poor judgment and bad behavior—you’re in a power position free from authority, constantly pressured to make quick decisions, and rife with conflicts of interest.

According to Chief Executive’s CEO Condifence Index, CEO confidence in future business conditions fell 6% in August from July, and is at its lowest level since October 2016, the last time CEOs reported their outlook as “weak”. A trade war with China, a tight labor market, and talk of a recession are all factors weighing on today’s CEOs.

There are widespread ramifications of the loss of an executive – whether it’s planned or forced due to misconduct. The departure of a well-known CEO has a direct effect on the financial and emotional wellbeing of an organization.

Problems with culture lie at the heart of many instances of executive misconduct, and while employees in various roles can influence company culture, the fundamental changes that truly drive a healthier workplace are handed down from senior leadership.

So how do you sustain your competitive advantage and retain your C-Suite in the current tumultuous conditions? By investing in cultivating the comprehensive wellbeing of your executives.  CEOs must lead by example and drive an organization toward persistently fostering a culture of wellbeing, which becomes a self-perpetuating competitive advantage.

Protect and cultivate the wellbeing and performance of your leaders, R3 Continuum can help, learn more here.

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