For the past sixteen years I have been an executive coach to senior-level leaders across a wide range of industries—telecom, pharmaceuticals, financial services, retail, manufacturing, professional services, and many others. The relationship between an executive and his coach is privileged, personal, and real—there are no pretenses and few places to hide.

In the deeply candid conversations I’ve had with these extraordinary people, I have learned much about how they manage to function—or not—in the face of the extreme demands on their time, energy, intellect, and emotional capacity. While their organizational, technical, and educational backgrounds have been different and their personalities and life experiences have ranged widely, ...

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