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The Dynamics of Leadership in a Private Business
Kerry Sulkowicz interviewed in Q&A on What Makes the Board Meeting Different?
The American Psychoanalytic Association (APSAA)
A Special Invitation to Attend
Part of APsaAs Winter 2003 Meeting, one of the national biannual meetings, the Public Forum will discuss issues relevant to the current interest in the psychology of CEOs. Under the leadership of APsaAs Committee on Corporate and Organizational Consultants, the Public Forum will also address the challenges of being a CEO in the current business climate.
Leaders and executives in the New York business community as well as APsaA members from across the country.
Free, and open to the public.
Friday, January 24, 2003, noon – 1:30 p.m.
Grand Ballroom, Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
301 Park Avenue, New York City
Kenneth Eisold, Ph.D., President-Elect, International Society for the Psychoanalytic Study of Organizations (ISPSO)Â Carol Hymowitz, senior editor and In the Lead columnist, The Wall Street JournalÂ Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Executive Programs, Yale School of Management; Founder and CEO, The Chief Executive Leadership Institute
Kerry Sulkowicz, M.D., Chair, Committee on Public Information; President, The Boswell Group, LLC
The American Psychoanalytic Foundation
Director of Public Affairs
Phone: 212-752-0450, ext. 29; Fax: 212-593-0571
About the American Psychoanalytic Association
Founded in 1911, APsaA is a professional organization of psychoanalysts throughout the United States. The Association is composed of more than 50 Affiliate Societies and Training Institutes in many cities and has approximately 3,500 individual members. APsaA is a Regional Association of the International Psychoanalytical Association.
319 East 49th Street New York, New York 10017. Phone: 212-752-0450 Fax: 212-593-0451.
The American Psychoanalytic Association (APSAA)
It will not be business as usual for Americas corporations as they approach the first anniversary of September 11. Members of the business community, from leaders to entry-level workers, need to be attuned to the possibility of delayed psychological and behavioral consequences following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.
Traumatic stress reactions and other anniversary phenomena, particularly in New York, may be much more widespread and varied than anticipated, advises corporate psychoanalyst Kerry J. Sulkowicz, M.D. Reactions to September 11, 2002 may include any of the following:
- Fears about going to work or engaging in business travel
- Fears about being in tall buildings
- Difficulty concentrating on work.
- Irritability, startle responses or increased anger on the job
- Increased alcohol and drug abuse
- Absenteeism due to physical illnesses, as expressions of underlying stress
- Impulsive or inappropriate business decisions
- Inappropriate sexual behavior, including harassment at work
- Depressive reactions, including delayed survivor guilt
According to Dr. Sulkowicz, who worked closely with corporate leaders immediately following the attacks, business people tend to use denial and immersion in work to avoid unpleasant feelings, but these defenses may not hold up in the coming weeks. Corporations should expect a wide range of reactions some obvious, some subtle in individuals and in groups. This may also vary depending on such factors as proximity to Ground Zero, knowing someone who died on September 11, the type of business, and differences in corporate culture and individual personality.
What can be done? Business leaders need to be aware of possible symptoms of September 11 anniversary reactions, actively look for them in their employees, and allow everyone in their organizations an opportunity to talk and reflect on their experiences in personal ways. Dr. Sulkowicz, a Principal at Katzenbach Partners LLC in New York, warns that pathological reactions go underground and affect business productivity if emotional responses are ignored or discouraged. Experts in group dynamics and trauma can be helpful in working with senior management and human resources professionals to anticipate and coordinate organizational responses. And managers, while maintaining high performance expectations, need to be particularly tolerant of these reactions in the time surrounding September 11.
The American Psychoanalytic Association (APSAA)
Kerry J. Sulkowicz, M.D., President of The Boswell Group, LLC, has volunteered his services to corporate chief executives in helping companies directly affected by the disaster cope with the psychological aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center.
Dr. Sulkowicz, a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, is the founder of The Boswell Group, LLC, a Manhattan consulting firm that advises business leaders on psychological aspects of management and corporate culture. As a business consultant, Dr. Sulkowicz brings together his expertise in the psychological effects of trauma on groups and individuals, with his in-depth knowledge and experience of the business world.
Several points are crucial for CEOs to bear in mind when guiding their companies through these extraordinarily difficult times:
- All businesses and all employees, whether directly involved in the attack or not, will have psychological reactions. Wall Street firms and financial services companies may be most affected.
- Running a complex business organization may come intuitively to a CEO, but responding to a crisis of such magnitude and with such severe psychological consequences may not be a natural extension of the CEOs leadership skills.
- The quality of leadership and the interaction between a particular companys unique corporate culture and the effects of the disaster may be the crucial determinants in how the company weathers the disaster.
- CEOs, precisely because of their position, may be the least likely to receive emotional support and guidance from within the firm, and need to be particularly attuned to their own emotional states in order to better care for their employees.
- Senior management is no less vulnerable to post-traumatic reactions than other employees, and may actually be more susceptible to using various forms of denial as a maladaptive way of coping. Managers may become particularly stressed because of their need to take care of others.
- Employees at all levels of the organization need to be able to speak openly about their personal experiences of the tragedy; failure to do so will result in much greater psychological morbidity over time.
- Employees should be offered liberal and easy access to mental health services upon request. Managed care restrictions on care should be lifted.
- Long-term consequences of the crisis need to be monitored in terms of potentially damaging effects on morale, corporate culture, capacity for risk-taking and innovation, hiring, relations with foreign companies, leadership succession, etc.
Dr. Sulkowicz writes and speaks frequently on the psychology of management and leadership. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Industry Standard and other publications.
He can be reached directly at 212 737-1542, or by email atÂ email@example.com.
The Boswell Group Announces New Form of Management Consultation
The Boswell Group, LLC, has launched a new form of management consulting focusing on psychological aspects of management and leadership. Founded by Kerry J. Sulkowicz, M.D., a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in New York City, Boswell Group has begun applying an in-depth way of listening to, understanding and treating individuals to businesses and other organizations in what Sulkowicz describes as “psychoanalytic management consultations.”
Although many others in the mental health professions have tried their hands as organizational psychologists or consultants, Boswell Group’s approach does not rely on standardized tests or formulaic methods. Their services are engageable only by CEO’s or other business leaders, and Sulkowicz views each client organization as a unique system of people, greater in complexity than the sum of its parts.
As in the individual clinical situation, an immersion in the life of the business or its management team is an essential step for Boswell Group to understand its difficulties and begin a process leading to substantive and lasting change. Boswell Group consultations are not standardized, nor do they use gimmicky tests or formulas. Their only tool, says the doctor, who is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at NYU School of Medicine, is the consultant’s own mind.
CEO’s who need to streamline or enhance theworking relationships of their managment team, or who seek to acquire psychological advantages in merger negotiations, would benefit from a psychoanalytic organizational consultation. Internet start-ups seeking to manage the interpersonal tensions that arise in the pressured environment of “Internet time,” or that need help hiring qualified, compatible personnel quickly, benefit from Boswell Group’s perspective. So would venture capitalists trying to make their best-informed bet on new management teams under consideration for funding. Family businesses or partnerships have hired Dr. Sulkowicz to help fix tensions within the leadership group, or to facilitate implementing a succession plan.
Changing an outdated, counterproductive corporate culture is a fundamentally psychological task, given its deep roots in the collective minds of an organization. So is blending two distinctly different cultures, when companies merge or are acquired. Boswell Group’s approach takes the inherent complexity of these common business occurrences into account as they assist senior management in shepherding these crucial transitions to a stable new culture.
BG’s method involves applying psychoanalytic interviewing and interpretive skills, along with extensive experience in understanding human behavior and motivation, to the corporate setting. Using plain language and a thoughtful, low-key manner, BG’s highly trained consultants direct an exploration into the sources of the corporate problem while simultaneously recommending new courses of action whenever appropriate. They help in the implementation of these new actions or attitudes by addressing the inevitable resistances to change that are a part of any organization’s growth process.
The plan for each consultation is discussed in advance with the client and is always open to adjustment as the engagement proceeds. As most of BG’s project are optimally engaged by a solo consultant, the cost of a their services are often less than that of a traditional organizational consultation involving a team of consultants.
Boswell Group’s consultations are treated with the same ethical standards and a comparable concern for confidentiality as in their clinical work with individuals.
For further information on psychoanalytic management consultation, or to make a confidential inquiry about obtaining a consultation, Dr. Sulkowicz can be contacted directly by telephone at 212 737-1542 or by email atÂ firstname.lastname@example.org.Â
The New Economy on the Couch
Kerry J. Sulkowicz, M.D., a psychiatrist and management consultant, will be speaking on “Psychoanalysis and the New Economy” at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York City on Thursday, September 14 at 11:00 am.
Dr. Sulkowicz, a psychoanalyst and President of The Boswell Group, LLC, will be putting the New Economy on the couch, and analyzing some of the underlying effects and meanings of the Internet on contemporary culture in general and the world of business in particular. He will address these critical issues, among others, in his talk:
- Psychological effects on society of the Internet, including the pros and cons of the loss of inhibition that comes with email and web-based communication.
- Unbridled narcissism of many current business leaders, and the relationship between childhood trauma and unusual success.
- Impact of the New Economy on corporate and childhood creativity.
- The Internet’s darker side, including how it can foster widespread paranoia.
- Fantasies that “anything is possible,” even in the wake of the Internet stock crash.
- Why we idealize New Economy moguls like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
“The Internet, at the heart of the New Economy, is everywhere,” says Dr. Sulkowicz, “and my aim is to try to understand what it means to us and how it is changing us.” His lecture, at Grand Rounds, will also introduce the audience to a new application of psychoanalytic science to management consulting. He will describe how executive coaching using a deeper, psychoanalytic approach can provide business leaders with unrivaled psychological skills to enhance their effectiveness as CEO’s and managers. His consulting has also been highly effective in working with Internet entrepreneurs, family businesses, traditional management consultants and executive search firms.
Dr. Sulkowicz is the founder of The Boswell Group, LLC, a consulting firm that focuses on the psychology of management and leadership (www.boswellgroup.com). He is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at New York University School of Medicine, and on the Faculty of the NYU Psychoanalytic Institute. In addition to his consulting work, Dr. Sulkowicz is in private practice in Manhattan. He was a Chief Resident in Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center and NYU Medical Center. A graduate of Harvard College, he received his M.D. from the University of Texas.
For a copy of Dr. Sulkowicz’s lecture, please contact Dottie Jeffries at 202.628.6544 (email@example.com).
For further information on psychoanalytic management consultation, or to make a confidential inquiry about obtaining a consultation, Dr. Sulkowicz can be contacted directly by telephone at 212 737-1542 or by email atÂ firstname.lastname@example.org.