Do senior business leaders need psychological first aid?


This post was prompted by the privilege of working with many top executive on leadership development programmes and in individual coaching.

It’s lonely out there

Senior business leaders find it quite lonely out there. There is seldom anyone to share ideas with, discuss challenges or get support from. And maybe it’s not culturally the done thing to seek this.

A brave face in tough times

Leaders often reluctantly reveal that they are putting on a brave facade as they struggle through some very

difficult challenges. Examples include…..

  •  An MD was very fearful of losing his job after two consecutive quarters of poor results.
  •  A CFO was worried sick whether he would be able to manage a merger.
  •  A successful entrepreneur facing a serious setback was severely stressed, being too embarrassed to  seek help.
  •  A talented VP marketing experienced great inner turmoil and guilt as she battled to balance the conflicting demands of being a working mother after the birth of her son.

And there are many other examples.

Impact on psychological well being?

These types of situations, that senior business leaders experience very frequently, have massive negative impact on our psychological health. They create debilitating mental states and serious negative emotions like fear, anger, guilt and blame. They frequently destroy self-confidence, shatter self-respect and create extreme stress and anxiety.

Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there. These mental states and stress then often manifest themselves in various medical problems. We are all aware of the heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and other medical ills that characterise our world.

The bigger tragedy

Of even greater concern is that when we experience these negative emotions and energy states, we simply attract even more that into our lives, without even realising it. The truth of the law of attraction is that we get back whatever energy we give out – like attracts like. The more we focus on our fear, anger and anxiety the more we get. It’s a vicious circle.

Let common sense prevail

When our physical health is a problem we typically take action to get well again. Why not apply the same logic to our psychological well being? It directly affects not only our physical health but also our entire life and the people closest to us.

I invite you to deal constructively with these emotional challenges. There is absolutely no reason to continuously fight these states when they can be easily resolved. Arrange a little psychological first aid to get our mojo back!

About the author

Ron McLuckie - Ron is Chairman & Chief Executive of WIAL India which he established in March 2012 and serves on the global board of the World Institute for Action Learning. He is a highly experienced international consultant and Action Learning authority. Ron has held senior executive roles in major organizations, senior lectureships and led a number of international consulting companies. His special interest is in developing skilled leaders who can drive business success and bridge the ‘knowing/doing gap’. His passion is challenging the conventional development approaches that do not work and finding effective ways of developing people and organization capability. He is also a proud granddad of three grandsons.

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