Are B2B leaders single for a reason?

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The only engagements they’re talking about is brand engagement or customer engagement. There are very few rings being exchanged in B2B circles and it often seems that sector enterprises are headed by solitary animals.

Is being single an asset for B2B leaders?

Five B2B leaders weigh in on how – and if – singlehood has been helpful to their careers, and what the possible pros and cons are.

Chrisopher Murray, the marketing director at HiringSolved. He says that singlehood allows him the freedom to work “when inspiration strikes, without having to run it by somebody first.”

That means being able to fire up the laptop at any given moment, at any given hour, with “nobody in the way to stop my train of thought.”

The single life becomes a necessity to achieve business objectives, he concedes, by virtue of the fact that a partner might require devoted time to nurture the relationship that the CEO is not able to offer.

“When you’re ready to drop everything to try a new idea to achieve your goals, it’s not really conducive to a relationship,” explains Murray. “A lot of people want time dedicated to them in a relationship, and for you to be there when they need you without abandoning them, or altering plans, because something suddenly came up. Unless you’re lucky enough to find an extremely understanding person, canceling plans or running off to the office unannounced could cause problems.”

Jaclyn Goldman is the marketing and business development representative for a Canadian veterinary pharmaceutical company, and the author of The Travelling Saleswoman Blog. The single, never-married 34-year-old woman has “always stepped with her business foot first and put romantic relationships second,” and credits that for her success.

“The primary reason is that I can devote 100 per cent of my time and energy to my work whenever I want and not be held back or obliged to another,” she states.
A major perk to being single, she adds, is that her disposable income has been used to purchase her own home and set up a retirement savings, whereas some peers have had childcare expenses- and even alimony and child support expenses. “That must be a huge stress!” she says.

Brandon Seymour runs an online marketing agency called Beymour Consulting and says from the start that, “any business can put a lot of pressure on a relationship… because all sorts of things can come up.”

Seymour learned the hard way about those very pressures.

“When you’re in a committed relationship, you have to consider your partner. I lived with my ex for over a year and she would get irritated that I spent most evenings buried in my laptop,” he says. “Not only was I unable to give her the attention she wanted, but I also needed a quiet work environment so I could concentrate, which meant that she needed to either hang out in our bedroom, or sit quietly while I worked.”
Jessica Mah is CEO of InDinero, a company that assists in book-keeping and payroll for companies.

“By default it’s absolutely an asset to be single,” she says. “I’m quasi-undateable, there’s just not much left-over time – a girl’s gotta sleep sometime… I’m able to pin my ears back and take on large amounts of business travel to our various global offices… all 24 hours in the day are mine and I don’t have to feel bad about taking them all.”

The case against coupling, for now, is that the CEO juggles numerous tasks that require her attention – and time.

“If I’m not hands-on with key activities and spending the rest of the time delegating to key people to handle things properly, we fail,” Mah says. “Doing and delegating in the most strategic manner possible just doesn’t leave time to take a long walk on the beach with Mr. Maybe right now.”

Jenny Vance, president of marketing company, LeadJen, has a slightly different take. Much like the other business leaders queried, she says that being single has allowed her to manage her time as she pleases; however, whatever the life choice, there will always be positives and negatives.

“I believe you can make anything an asset in your career. I think prioritizing one over the other means there are always sacrifices on the other front,” she says.

Is single and career-driven might be the norm for B2B leaders?  There may be just as many leaders who are married or with children and journalists just haven’t found five of them with the time to respond to interview requests.

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