Andrew Sobel, who co-authored the book Clients for Life, reports that none of the numerous CEOs he spoke to about their confidantes mentioned board members.
CEOs look to these consultant confidantes for a valuable outsider's perspective, free from the mindset of any one particular company or industry.
People don't really become confidantes until you have some history together," says Irwin Jacobs, CEO of Minneapolis, MN-based Genmar Holdings.
True confidantes are rare," adds Jacobs, whose $900 million firm encompasses several luxury boat manufacturers, including Glastron and Larson.
Obviously, the best confidantes are people with whom a high degree of intimacy already exists.
Confidantes are a more precious commodity than ever, in part because the CEO position has become a revolving door.
Singling out an employee to be a confidante can undermine morale within an organization.
Boards are no longer the potential confidante pool they once were.
A proven track record is a prerequisite, concurs Bob Dilenschneider, the CEO of a Manhattan public relations firm who has served as a confidante to various CEOs over the years.