The executive mind: Leader self-talk, effectiveness and strain

By S. Rogelberg, Logan Justice
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Phillip W. Braddy, David G. Altman, John W. Fleenor
Center for Creative Leadership

Samatha C. Paustain-Underdal, Eric D. Heggestad, Linda Shanock
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Benjamin E. Baran
Northern Kentucky University

Tammy Beck, Shawn D. Long, Ashley M. Andrew
University of North Carolina, Charlotte


This paper aims to analyze leader self-talk in order to examine its connection to effectiveness and strain. For the study, 189 senior executives were instructed to write self-addressed letters concerning their future self-development. In addition, supervisor and direct report ratings of leadership of other and creativity and self-ratings of job strain were collected. The authors of this study found that constructive self-talk was positively correlated with leadership of others and negatively correlated to job strain. This data supports the concept that constructive self-talk helps reduce job strain and results in more effective leadership, while dysfunctional self-talk is related to lower levels of creativity and originality.


Rogelberg, S.G., Justice, L., Braddy, P.W., Paustian‐Underdahl, S.C., Heggestad, E., Shanock, L., Baran, B.E., Beck, T., Long, S., Andrew, A., Altman, D.G. and Fleenor, J.W. (2013). The executive mind: leader self-talk, effectiveness and strain. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 28(2), 183-201.


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