Why executives lose their balance

By Joan R. Kofodimos
Center for Creative Leadership


This paper outlines a framework for understanding causes and consequences of executive career/personal life imbalance, based on findings from intensive clinical case studies of about 20 male executives and data from co-workers and family members. The executive faces two sets of forces contributing to imbalance: (1) rewards of the job vs. the unfulfilling nature of personal life and (2) the joy of mastery vs. the threat of intimacy. Two examples are given in which a wide range of family circumstances produced a person driven by striving for mastery. An approach to balance is proposed that involves moderating the drive for mastery and encouraging the capacity for intimacy.


Kofodimos, J. R. (1989). Why executives lose their balance (Technical Report No. 137). Center for Creative Leadership. https://doi.org/10.35613/ccl.1989.1095

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