10 Symptoms of Low Wellbeing and Connection in Leaders
In the context of medical health, self-diagnosing your symptoms is perhaps one of the most dangerous activities known to humankind – up there with poking grizzly bears, playing table tennis with hand grenades, or asking your three-year-old toddler if you can eat the last chicken nugget. We’ve all unashamedly been there after searching our symptoms online – sobbing whilst our doctor tries their best to reassure us that we really do just have a bit of a cold and a headache.
But in the context of conscious leadership, self-diagnosis is crucial. As a leader, being able to identify the early signs of fatigue and fragility in your own state of mind and wellbeing, can be the difference between you and your organisation recovering and thriving, or stagnating and crumbling.
So what are the signs and symptoms of low wellbeing in leaders and leadership teams, and how can we help you to tackle them head-on?
1. Struggling to engage
Remote and hybrid working arrangements offer numerous advantages to productivity and wellbeing within an organisation. But it’s not uncommon for leaders to find it difficult to engage and connect with their team when so much of the interactions they have occur through a screen. A sense of isolation can certainly creep into the crevices, and it’s important to be able to recognise and identify exactly what you need to stay connected to both yourself and the people you work with.
2. Lacking focus
Sometimes, being a leader is a lot like juggling several sharp objects whilst riding a unicycle. (And occasionally, the unicycle catches fire). But life as a leader doesn’t need to be an inferno of chaos. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t figure out which of your tasks to tackle first and in what order, then it’s time to take a conscious approach to leadership. With the right knowledge, tools, and self-awareness, you can gain the clarity you need to complete your objectives systematically and effectively, time and time again.
3. Lacking inspiration
It’s normal for golden periods of growth and development to be followed by periods of stagnation – both on an individual and organisational level. But to remain successful as a leader, you must recognise when you’re stuck on autopilot and just going through the motions, and empower both yourself and your team to reignite your drive and creativity.
To be a leader is to work hard and to strive for success. It’s a natural trait. But for some reason, many leaders seem to look into the mirror and mistake themselves for a pressure-cooker, forever ramping it up, day after day, without a single pause, risking an explosion that scalds themselves and everyone around them. Whilst it is important to work hard, it is absolutely essential to work sustainably. Being a leader is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s important to have the right insights and self-awareness to take a step back, reflect, and support yourself and your team to achieve your goals in a more sustainable and productive manner.
5. Always switched-on, never switched-off
One of the most commonly reported issues that leaders face in their day-to-day lives is a lack of sleep – and not because they’re scared of the monster under the bed. (It’s already been fed with the three-year-old toddler who refused to share their chicken nugget). When your workplace stress spills into your life at home, and stops you from getting the rest and recovery you need to sustain optimal performance, it’s time to take a step back, reflect, and manage the underlying problems at hand.
6. Living in denial with burnout
The concept of burnout in the workplace is well and widely known, but it can often be difficult to recognise burnout when it’s happening to you. Now, more than ever before, leaders across various industries are burning out at increasingly rapid rates, and when leadership by definition is perceived to be a stressful and challenging role, it can be dangerously easy to assume that the symptoms of burnout are just a part of the job. You can’t manage burnout if you can’t identify it, and the only way to do that is to have the knowledge, self-awareness, and tools to consciously monitor and sustain your state of wellbeing.
7. Misaligned leadership
Leading a company is often compared to steering a ship. And it’s perhaps true in the sense that, a ship will never reach its destination if the captain is steering to the right, some of the officers are steering to the left, and the rest are stumbling through the dark below deck, about to light what they think is a candle, when actually, it’s a stick of dynamite. That ship is definitely going to sink. Organisations with multiple leaders can only succeed if that leadership team is aligned towards a common goal, with a common understanding and a common vision of how to get there. For that to happen, individual leaders must be better connected to themselves, each other, and the wider team that relies on their guidance.
8. Disunited leadership
Every company hits a bump or two along the road. That’s the nature of business. What sets apart those that recover – and recover quickly, to those that recover slowly – or not at all, is unity. Leadership teams that get caught up in blaming each other when things go wrong, will never attain the unity they need to achieve their full potential. As well as being aligned in their goals and vision, leaders must consciously share a sense of unity, understanding, and mutual respect to be a truly effective leadership team.
9. No time to reflect
For aspirational leaders, it can seem impossible to plan for the future when you’re so caught up in the present. With so many moving parts in so many different directions, it can be difficult to just sit, think, reflect, and gain the clarity you need to see beyond tomorrow. But finding the time to reflect on your own needs is paramount to not only your wellbeing, performance, and productivity, but also to that of those around you, and consequently, to the long-term success and growth of your business.
When you’re unable to consistently manage all the responsibilities and burdens that lie on your shoulders, it can wear you down to the point where you begin to doubt your ability to lead in the first place. This is nearly always unfounded, and it’s important to reflect inwards and understand what you need to reignite your morale and self-confidence. A successful leader doesn’t need to have all the answers all the time, but they do need to believe in their ability to find them along the way.
The long-term success of any organisation is intrinsically linked to the wellbeing of its leaders. And in order to regulate their own wellbeing, performance, engagement and productivity, leaders need to have the correct knowledge, self-awareness, and tools to do so.
By using a unique, scientifically-validated psychometric assessment, tailored workshops, and specialised technology such as our Consciously app – a digital learning and wellbeing platform, we help leaders gain the insights they need to remain resilient, maintain their mindset, and work with focus, purpose, and long-term sustainability.
Contact us today, and begin your journey to a more conscious form of leadership.