The Insidious Nature of Boredom Amongst Tenured Executives

By Renee Booth

“There is no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever!" - Viggo Mortensen

I’m somewhat shocked by the number of well positioned and influential leaders in organizations who are chronically dissatisfied with their jobs. Instead of basking in the satisfaction that they are amongst the few in the world with meaningful, influential and highly compensated jobs, they complain.

Their complaints are broad and varied to include issues with the direction of the organization, mediocre assignments, flaws in their colleagues and, unsupportive bosses. This overall malaise seems incomprehensible because they have so much. In many cases, I’ve come to learn that they are simply bored.

Boredom has an insidious nature that can make them imagine that colleagues are conspiring against them, that they are under-appreciated and dislike their really successful organization. Many even seek a new job where they believe that things will magically become more exciting.


These bored executives need to be reminded that they have some of the best jobs in the world. They have the privilege of leading in the world’s best organizations and should never forget the amazing good fortune of that.


It’s easy to become bored when they’ve been satisfied and safe for many years. However, safety and predictability leads to complacency which eventually leads to boredom. There is no real excuse for being boring.   Do something. Why not focus on becoming a more interesting person? Like reading something besides a business book…mentoring someone who is not in their organizational structure or learn a new language which will make them engage with a new culture.  When they become more interesting and less bored, their jobs can amazingly become more interesting.


But most of all, be grateful. It’s likely that they have the best jobs in town!


The next time you find yourself dissatisfied while you are working in a job that you use to love, that is well suited for your skills, where your results are great, at a reputable company where you have friends amongst colleagues…consider the fact that you just might be bored. It’s an easy out to blame others or get another job… however, It’s harder but more satisfying to become a more interesting person.   It will make you a better boss, get better results and realize how lucky you are to have such a good job.


“There is no excuse to be bored. Sad, yes. Angry, yes. But there is no excuse for boredom, ever!"

-Viggo Mortensen

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