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Food for Thought

Managers and Their Dysfunctional Beliefs

Since the 1950s, McKinsey [&] Company, one of the world’s leading strategy consulting companies, has been known to employ the best graduates from the best universities, and to use performance incentives and a very formative high performance culture to shape these young, hungry ‘high potentials’ according to their requirements. After these young consultants were pushed to the maximum by their international projects, most of them voluntarily leave the company on good terms after three years at the latest in order to take up leading positions in the industry and then to become potential customers of their former employer. Over the past few decades, this HR strategy and its accompanying high performance culture was adopted in the field of professional services by the majority of international companies and is now also entering many more traditional industrial and service-based companies.

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Why the C-Suite can be deadly – The case of Martin Senn

It is not easy to be a manager, and even more difficult the higher you climb. But increased speed, uncertainty and complexity that dominate the everyday lives of decision-makers on C-Level are only one part of the problem. The by far worst part is the total loss of power and status which goes along with a loss of one’s influential position. Exactly this happened to Martin Senn who was the CEO of Zurich, one of the biggest insurance companies worldwide. He committed suicide end of May at the age of 59. Martin Senn was a long-time employee of the insurer, serving as its chief executive for six years before he was forced to step down in December due to public pressure following economic difficulties and a failed M[&]A transaction. The loss of prestige and influence had hit him hard. An acquaintance said Senn had suffered from depression recently.

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Insecure Overachievers and Their Beliefs

The Insecure Overachiever
Since the 1950s, McKinsey & Company, one of the world’s leading strategy consulting firm, has been known to employ the best graduates from the best universities, and to use performance incentives and a very formative high-performance culture to shape these young, hungry ‘high potentials’ according to their requirements. After these young consultants are pushed to the maximum by their international projects, most of them voluntarily leave the company on good terms after three years at the latest in order to take up leading positions in the industry and then to become potential customers of their former employer. Over the past few decades, this HR strategy and its accompanying high-performance culture were adopted in the field of professional services by the majority of international companies and are now also entering many more traditional industrial and service-based companies.

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