Stress & CXOs: The 2 Types

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Stress & CXOs: The 2 Types

Egged on by colleagues, when I thought of penning this down, I decided to search how many types of CXOs are there. The very first link that popped up mentioned 15 designations that fall under this umbrella term. That’s a big number. I am sure it still missed some new age designations. No need to look for more, I told myself. For, I want to share about 2 broad types that keep erupting on the experience radar. That’s right. Years of observing clients, friends, acquaintances, and hearing from them about some more people striding the corridors of corporate power, I think 2 suffices. Of course, there will always be others falling somewhere in between. However, these 2 types have predominantly crossed my path.

While different in many aspects, they sometimes share a common fate. You are invited to read this with a dash of humor, but it doesn’t take away from the reality of their existence, their behavior patterns, responses, and their relationship with stress – as a welcome friend tagging along, wagging its tail, and cajoling to be fed with imploring eyes, or as the silent stalker sneaking around, but closer than one might think.



This type is the “Overweight”, likely has one or more long-standing health issues, proudly calls more than one doctor and pathologist/phlebotomist and the neighborhood chemist a ‘good friend’, and has them on speed dial. Always just a call away, literally. There is frequent interaction amongst this motley group and reports and medicines get served like a running order in a restaurant. He/She has been told more than once to eat, sleep, move better by family and friends but (s)he would rather, their secretary take these notes and put them through the shredder or file them away. Of course, being a CXO he has his plate full. Stress smugly strides alongside, emboldened by the sheer absence of any semblance of a restraining order.

This type is quite fond of raising a toast, saying “I know, but you only live once”; or in moments of temporary weakness- “I will start soon”. The moment passes, the statement passes. This type has learned the art of living in denial and hoping for the best. Type 2 would like to use Type 1 as an example often.



Strides the corridors of corporate power with brisk steps, is “Fit & Fine”, and is publicly admired and secretly envied in equal measure. This CXO follows a fitness routine religiously, is conscious of ‘nutrition’, ‘hydration’, health mantras, and loves setting and overcoming fitness challenges. This type also loves to draw ‘management’ and ‘life lessons’ from their athletic endeavors and share the same at the drop of a hat, albeit with studied matter-of-fact demeanor. But it’s easy to crack it. Just don’t mention their fitness or ask about it. Talk anything, but. They will figure out a way to sneak it in.

This type certainly takes health and fitness seriously. However, sometimes, can’t draw the line. Obsession is a real danger and the motives to push boundaries may not be what they convince others of, or themselves. Addiction by any other name is still that. Stress stalks creepily. It can easily metamorphose into a deadly cocktail leading to sudden collapse. Type 1 can use Type 2 to justify patterns.


What is common between them?

Lack of balance.

Balance is the essence of existence. No matter what path you chose, it has to be tempered with balance. Extremes of any kind indicate lack of control and equilibrium, and cannot bode well, in any way. Balance can make or break. We don’t need designations to remember, practice, and respect this- just common sense.


About Vani Pahwa

Vani B. Pahwa is Health & Wellness Evangelist, and Founder, Body In Motion, who specializes in Functional-Fitness, and Cancer Exercise & Rehabilitation. With almost 2 decades of experience, and certifications from leading internationally-accredited and globally-recognized fitness institutions, Vani is the leading Wellness Expert for Multinational Corporations and is a recognized Speaker and Coach. An Indian Classical Dancer, Vani encompasses her learnings from dance to everyday movement making “exercise and training for life, not just events.” To know more about Vani and her premium wellness services, visit


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