By Denise Joseph, J.D. & Louis Joseph, M.D. 
Open Sea Institute for Psychiatry, Wellness & Executive Performance
April 1st, 2023

In July and December 2020, Harvard Business School professor Boris Groysberg and his team interviewed CEOs from around the world about their experiences with leadership post George Floyd and during COVID-19. CEOs from multibillion dollar companies provided shockingly honest reflections on their experiences. CEOs described the devastation and vulnerability that resulted from grappling with unprecedented health crises, civil unrest, supply chain volatility and evolving economic policies that had not been encountered on a mammoth scale in the majority of employee and CEO lifetimes. One CEO confessed that he felt that leading during these times was like, “Waking up to all of the decisions I had not made/delayed in the past, and they all needed to be decided on at the same time and paying the price of having postponed them and living the nightmare of all of it at once.”Given the persistent war in Europe and its attendant nuclear threats, burgeoning Chinese ambition and shifting geopolitical alliances, the looming arrest of a United States President, the increase in catastrophic environmental disasters, and the fall of Silicon Valley Bank and the domino effect that will inevitably follow, conditions could not be further from stabilizing. Last month’s events aside, as new generations of leaders rise in the line of organizational and corporate succession, as the concept of “identity” is reconsidered, understanding of hierarchies are questioned, and the revolutionary idea that mental health is the font from which all other health flows becomes fact, society will need and select Leaders who are, in many respects, meaningfully dissimilar from their predecessors and who exhibit meaningful differences in their mindsets, visions, and behavior.

Just as politicians who live baldly hypocritical lives contend with evermore virulent brands of mass scrutiny, Executives who function as true role models for their teams and employees will rise to the top of corporate structures and organizational models. It is easy to identify a growing rejection of corporate culture in the way society increasingly examines the “pay gap” between CEOs and warehouse workers or, in the way employees across industries have openly exhibited mass unwillingness to return to the office post-COVID. The internet has transformed all aspects of human life and AI and Automation pose the risk of at least some level of societal unrest.

Executives and Leaders who function as true role models for their employees create spaces where people want to produce and create. Executives who are able to display a level of appreciation that resonates as genuine with their employees and who present objectives in ways that provoke authentic interest and drive, will become the gold standard.

For the Leader of present and future, a solid relationship with the right coach or psychiatrist is vital. Research on the newly recognized field of coaching has established that coaching produces a “chain effect” of benefit for the organizations that implement high quality coaching. When coaching benefits the Leader, the Leader benefits their employees, organizational culture and ultimately, the company’s bottom-line as the result of shrewd hiring decisions, increased employee retention, smoother successional transitions, decreased stress during merger and acquisitions, and of course, client/customer receptivity translating to profit. Top Executive Recruitment firm Heidrick & Struggles reports that, “The majority of CEOS we’re working with have identified an external coach (as confidants)…somebody they can just say anything to and have confidence they’ll get honest feedback. It’s a safe place for them.”1

Often, many at the top of their food chains are not necessarily the most emotionally and socially intelligent. For instance, consider the following statistic:

While psychopathic behavior in the general population is estimated to be 1%, in recent years, a widely reported study conducted by forensic psychologists found that 21% of CEOs and Senior Corporate Professionals are psychopaths. What is most intriguing and alarming about these findings is that this percentage of Executives mirrors the percentage of prisoners.2 Open Sea Institute (OSI), Palm Beach Hedge Fund Association’s new official coaching and mental health provider, celebrates what has historically been termed, “the killer instinct” while simultaneously recognizing the need to adapt and reframe it for corporate and organizational sustainability.

Executives do not always have the psychological insight to understand their employees or what motivates them. Consider the culture of Silicon Valley for instance, where entire generations of introverts with cluster characteristics different from those found in historical corporate leadership, have been brought to forefront of society, transforming our world with their visionary brilliance. Tech industry personality typologies, intentionally or unintentionally, have birthed new and different concepts of work and work culture. Yet, tech companies also experience the same challenges traditional industries have experienced in terms of employee workplace satisfaction.

On the occupational front, Open Sea Institute recalls that so many of history’s greatest artists, scientists and inventors have been brilliant people with brilliant ideas who found rudimentary communication challenging. Consider creators like Van Gogh, whose work was not appreciated until long after his death. OSI challenges the notion that great creativity must be mired in misery and frustration. How many more creators will be recognized when they are able to communicate their works effectively to their audiences? As a society, how much creativity have we been deprived of due to deficits in social and emotional communication between creators and their governing environments? OSI intends to eradicate this net negative to the human community and bridge the gap between genius and the ability to communicate genius.

Open Sea Institute recognizes that Executives who cope with stress through alcohol or drug use, compulsive exercise, online gambling, destructive entanglements, or obsessive behaviors/ phobias, also tend to communicate with those who work for them in pathological ways that ultimately result in decreased in morale and productivity. Executives across industries are suffering with burnout, depression, suicidal ideation, addictions, and psychosocial stress which translate into physical ailments including hormonal imbalance, neurodegeneration, and cardiovascular strain and disease.

At OSI, not only does a Leader gain greater self-awareness, a Leader learns to strategically identify what will motivate their teams and employees. Whether working one-on-one with Leaders or their teams, OSI is able to guide clients through the delicate and subtle processes of realization and optimization, allowing clients to uncover and traverse the psychological matter that prevents them from reaching peak performance, priming clients to innovate, communicate and operate to their greatest advantages.

Open Sea Institute’s coaching services utilize proprietary methods to facilitate satisfaction, performance, and innovation in their community of co-creators. Leaders and aspiring leaders who participate with regularity at Open Sea communicate their commitments to maximum productivity, accountability, collaborative mindsets, cognitive and cultural flexibility, and future-focused thinking to their Boards, teams, employees, investors and customers. Open Sea Institute helps to develop and fortify Leaders who can maintain agility and stability in the harrowing economic and geopolitical future we face.

Additionally, though many individuals in the professional world retain services because they aspire to promotions, increased executive performance, or compensation increases, Leaders who already occupy positions of prominence and wealth find great relief and stimulation at Open Sea. Such clients come to the Open Sea Institute after confusing financial success and attainment of social status with attainment of happiness. They have lived their lives, until now, accordingly. In 100% of cases, Open Sea Institute can attest that attainment of professional goals is not the sole or primary determinant of contentment or satisfaction in client lives.

Executives and Leaders require understanding that few coaches or psychiatrists can offer. Open Sea’s providers have the mental sophistication, social and emotional intelligence, professionalism, life experience with issues of leadership in demanding careers, and conversance in finance, PR, and Crisis Management that Executives require. Executives and their intimates deserve a safe space with professionals who resonate with their life-type challenges and who will not judge or condemn them, consciously or unconsciously, for the attainment of what is increasingly understood as “privilege.”

True Executive Coaching and Executive-Focused Psychiatric Interventions must offer and address all the above.

Please visit us at OpenSea.Institute to learn more.