Working papers

The Many Colors of Success: What do Executives want out of Life? (2009)

Manfred Kets de Vries

"What do executives want out of life?"

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. What the narratives for most of these executives illustrate, is that success is a journey, not a destination.

INSEAD Working Paper, 2009

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