Argh, I'm overwhelmed!
Do we always recognise the signs and impacts of overwhelm as leaders?
It hasn’t always been the case that I have felt able to admit when I am feeling overwhelmed and on the brink of burnout as a leader. I’ve often tried to cover up those feelings of stress, get my head down and not make a fuss - I recognise now this was because I worked with other leaders who deemed this as weakness or failure.
Early in my career the role models I had in my immediate sphere were people who seemed to thrive on stress. Leaders who seemingly took pleasure in scoring points off others in terms of how late they worked, how much of their weekend they “gave up” to work instead of spend time with their loved ones and how resilient they were coping with so much. (You know how we feel about the word resilience and it’s connotations if you’re a regular listener).
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