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The Many Colors of Success: What do Executives Want out of Life? (2010)

Manfred Kets de Vries

"What does success mean to senior executives?"

Eight major categories of success emerged: family, wealth, work/career, recognition/fame, power, winning/overcoming challenges, friendships, and meaning. Experiences of success depended on “intrinsic” or “external” validation, and the inner scripts that these executives had developed while growing up, which influenced their perceptions of success and how they experienced it. The qualities of focus, persistence, and self-mastery, among others, featured in the scripts of many successful people. The darker side of success was partly accounted for by what can be described as the “Faust Syndrome,” the melancholia that follows the sense of everything being completed. What the narratives for most of these executives illustrate, is that success is a journey, not a destination.

Organizational Dynamics, 2010

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Sally Jackson

Sep 11, 4:38 PM

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