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There are benefits to being 'thin-skinned'

There are benefits to being a little thin-skinned in the business world, according to a columnist.

Writing for, Lucy Kellaway suggested that people who are actually sensitive to criticism may feel motivated to do better the next time round, whereas a thick-skinned veteran is likely to shrug and not react to the situation.

She referenced WPP Group chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell as an example of someone who seems genuinely hurt when people criticise him, yet has been continually successful - providing an example for executives aspiring to reach the top permanent and interim management roles.

Ms Kellaway said: "To be impervious to attack is thought to be powerful and dignified. Every executive coach tells every aspiring person who has to deal with criticism the same thing: Don't take it personally. But I'm starting to think the thinner skin suits CEOs better."

Discussing Sir Martin's situation at WPP Group, reporter Mark Leftly suggested that chairman of WPP Philip Lader will benefit from a thick skin as the company negotiates with shareholders over pay deals.

Mr Leftly pointed out that Mr Lader used to be deputy chief of staff at the White House when Bill Clinton was in power, so he may be used to dealing with a crisis involving a high-profile leader. Sir Martin has had his remuneration deal refused by shareholders, with tensions still running high.

Posted: 29 November 2012 15:12:00
Filed under: Randstad Interim Executives News
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