A Cautionary Tale of the Hazards of Marriage on Leadership

Posted July 20, 2009 in Latest News & Insights

You have to feel sorry for Sir John Sawers, the incoming chief of Britain’s Secret Intelligent Service.  Being married has officially become a career limiting move!  In case you missed the furor, Sawers non-savvy social networking wife posted pics and personal information of her hubby and family on Facebook… sans privacy settings.

Oh dear.

And you thought it was mortifying when you’re husband poked fun of you in front of your boss for being a hair metal fan.  Seeing Motley Crue five times is nothing compared to the head of Britain’s top spy agency having his home address on display for 200 million Facebook users (not to mention a variety of less-than-James-Bond type beach shots).

It used to be that, for men to secure senior leadership positions, they were encouraged to be “good family men” with the dutiful stay-at-home wife.  For senior women to get ahead, it’s been argued that a dutiful “stay-at home” husband is a must to really crack the glass ceiling (assuming kids are on your life agenda).

However, in looking at the fallout from Sir John’s wife’s unfortunate actions, one has to wonder if the single “married to their job” type is finally having the last laugh.

Wasn’t leadership today already tricky enough!?  Now, on top of managing one’s personal brand in today’s open net environment, you can add worrying about what your spouse may be getting up to onto your “what keeps me up at night list”.

Happy leading!


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