What Do Bosses Do All Day?

Besides pestering you with thankless tasks, what exactly do CEOs do all day? Thanks to a new Harvard Business School study, now we know:

Researchers asked the chief executives of 94 Italian firms to have their assistants record their activities for a week. You may take this with a grain of salt. Is the boss’s assistant a neutral observer? If the boss spends his lunch hour boozing, or in a motel with his assistant, will she record this truthfully? Nonetheless, here are the results.

The average Italian boss works for 48 hours a week and spends 60% of that time in meetings. The most diligent put in another 20 hours. And the longer they work, the better the company does.

Less diligent chief executives are more likely to have one-to-one meetings with people from outside the company. The authors speculate that such people are trying to raise their own profile, perhaps to secure a better job. Bosses who work longer hours, by contrast, spend more of them meeting their own employees.

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