The sociologist Arlie Hochshild introduced the concept of emotional labor to highlight the emotional burdens of different jobs. Bill collectors, for example, must inure themselves from the emotional distress of the people they must harass. Doctors must deal with the emotional trauma of their patients when delivering difficult medical prognoses. Almost all service workers must endure emotionally challenging encounters with upset customers.
A CEO’s role is not one we may readily associate with high emotional labor. The people in these highly paid, all-powerful roles are often seen as creating emotional stress for others rather than bearing that burden themselves. Read this great HBR article to find out more.