5 Leadership Traps (and a solution to each)

Updated: May 31, 2020

"No matter how many hours I put in, I'll never get through my to-do list."

"I'd love to quit my job and move to a remote island."

"It's all so pointless, I mean who really cares?"

"I don't eat well, I don't sleep well."

"My friends gave up on me years ago - they grew tired of my work always coming first."

“I’m just so tired all the time. I wish I could sleep for a week.”

Have you ever heard yourself saying any of these things?

If it takes you an entire weekend to ‘recover’ from your week at work…….

If you return from a holiday with the intention of ‘getting through’ until the next one…….

If you are spending less and less time with partners, family and friends…….

If you’ve forgotten what you used to do for fun……

If your health is suffering…….

If you feel drained or unable to cope……

If you feel irritable at work.......

You may be on the road to leadership burnout (physical and mental exhaustion). Signs include chronic illness, anxiety, extreme fatigue, bodily pain, loss of appetite and depression.

From my very own experience, and through my work, I've identified 5 reasons leaders experience burnout:

1. Self-doubt/Impostor Syndrome 2. Limited communication skills 3. Ineffective time management 4. Unrealistic self-expectation 5. Loneliness

In this article I'm going to address these in turn and give you one tip you can try out today. Suffering from self-doubt or impostor syndrome? As we ascend the corporate ladder, applying for more challenging roles, the interview process tends becomes more involved, a little more drawn out and requirements a bit tougher. And you nailed it! But now you find yourself in a seat you suddenly feel a little shaky in. What if you're not good enough? What if you can't do this? TRY THIS: Trust in the people who trust in you. You were appointed for a reason, most likely by a panel of people you greatly respect. You didn't fool anyone. You are there because you're the right fit. Bring forth those wonderful skills, strengths and gifts they see in you. Could communication be better between you and members of your team? TRY THIS: Design some open-ended questions that will glean the information you need from your individual team members. Allocate some 1:1 time to pose your questions, hold your tongue and listen. And listen some more. Listen and Silent contain the same letters for a reason. Missing deadlines? If you find you can't complete your work in the allocated time frame you may not need a time management course. You may need to work on your focus. Worrying about whether or not you're doing something 'perfectly' is not being focused. Worrying about getting it 'wrong' or messing it up is not being focused. Worrying if it's as good as your predecessor’s is not being focused. If you are not focused, how can you be doing your best work and doing it efficiently? TRY THIS: Bring yourself back into the moment (and focused on your work) with a tool that uses one or two of your senses - drinking a glass of water, squeezing a stress ball or something as simple as noticing your fingers touching your keyboard. I wrote an article earlier this year titled The Judgement You Feel is Real. The expectations we place on ourselves are tougher than anyone else possibly could. If you DEMAND your confidence arise in your new leadership role (even though it's bigger and bolder than any role you've had before) TRY THIS: Remind yourself that confidence is created from taking action - not the other way around. High 5 yourself for each small step you take as you move into your new role and remember your confidence is increasing with each one. Loneliness is a key leadership trap! The higher we go the less peers we have. If you find yourself feeling lonely, isolated, disconnected or left out at work TRY THIS: Create a silent advisory board for yourself, people you can confide in, bounce things off or share challenges for a fresh perspective. They may be mentors, coaches, fellow executives at other organisations or all of the above. If you would like to explore how you can continue leading your team from a place of joy, confidence, enthusiasm and energy........if you would like to feel rock-solid support in the process......if you would love to surround yourself with like-minded peers who will challenge, inspire and cheer for you......my BRAND NEW leadership program is now open.  


Why not check it out?

Until I see you again, stay healthy and safe. 

PRIVATE 1:1 COACHING - Prefer a more personal connection? CLICK HERE to find out more about private 1:1 coaching with me.

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