16 Oct 2013

Hector Sants may have benefited from Coaching

News that another senior finance professional - this time Hector Sants, Barclays Bank's Head of compliance - needs to take time off to avoid burn-out, highlights the pressure that staff at all levels are facing these days. This burden gets progressively stronger the more an executive moves up the ranks of the organisation. 

20-25 years ago hardly anyone in the financial markets had ever heard or seen a compliance manual, let alone a compliance officer. And the markets functioned quite well. Now the rulebooks run to thousands of pages - and are constantly 'updated' and expanded with new rules - everything is up to interpretation and everyone wants to cover his backside. No wonder that people like Sants feel the stress (ironically he helped create many of these rules!).

Another problem facing senior managers is the fact that their jobs can be quite lonely ones where they are constantly under pressure from two sides - aspiring subordinates keen to get their job or pressure from their own supervisor who wants to squeeze out a better performance from their reports.