Monday, September 30, 2013

McKesson workers more stressed than overpaid CEO

John Hammergren might think he's worth the $51.7 million he takes home from McKesson, the health care company he heads. After all, he puts up with a lot of stress.

He'd be wrong.

Keith Payne in Scientific American recently described the kind of stress CEOs like Hammergren put up with: CEO ... had to drag himself out of bed each morning and muster his game face. It would be a long day of telling other people what to do. It got so bad ... he had no choice but to take a year off work to sail across the Atlantic Ocean with his family.
Poor thing!

But it turns out it isn't the people at the top who experience the most stress. It's actually the people at the bottom -- like the McKesson workers who don't take home enough money to afford health care.

A recent study of people taking executive courses at Harvard's business school divided the group into leaders and non-leaders. The conclusion?
On both surveys of anxiety and biological measures of cortisol, the leaders showed substantially lower levels of stress than the non-leaders. The results were the same in both business and the military. Leadership has its privileges.
Another study in the '60s showed British civil servants had more stress-related health problems the lower down on the rung they were.

Concludes the author,
The professional class may be stressed in their way. But the powerless are stressed in the way that kills.