“Leaders aren’t a set of skills and tools only. They’re human being first”
We know that no corporate professional is indispensable. However, the truth is, no company would like to loose their critical resources in any unplanned way. Specially, not for health reasons.
The top executives of most companies are expected to work nonstop, travel regularly, produce top results. Imagine the stress that they deal with, inevitably causing them to burn out and leave. Research has shown that almost half of top executives last fewer than 18 months after a job change or promotion. They complain of physical fatigue from late-night and early-morning conference calls. They don’t have time to work out. They eat bad food on the road. Unfortunately, most of them won’t even take the opportunity to do something about this.
Let’s take an example of a CEO. A typical CEO makes, on average, 373 times as much as his or her employees and has much heftier retirement benefits. It also takes companies almost a small fortune, and often many years of training and coaching to assist them with the foundation required to lead the organisation. Replacing a chief executive in case of a sudden departure can cost companies an average of $1.8 billion in shareholder value (research by PricewaterhouseCoopers).
These top executives are particularly prone to burnout because they work in a steady thrum of intense stress.
Research shows that top executives in most organisations operate in a VUCA environment (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous). It is bound to take a toll.
That’s what happened to Greg Head, a senior executive at SalesLogix LLC, a customer management company based out of Arizona, USA. Basically, he started to crack, overwhelmed by “the anxiety, the back pain, the weight of it all,” he said. “I wanted to turn left on the way to work, not right.” One day in 2004, Head, just at the age of 52, did just that. He quit his job and embarked on a career as a startup consultant.
This unplanned exit of any top executive, does leave the company in a spot.
I sincerely believe that Indian Top Executives are prone to even more stress. We have challenges which are typical to a developing, highly ambitious nation. We are expected to generate consistent super normal profits, under environmental pressures like bad infrastructure, dwindling political scenarios…..
On the bright side, there is still a way to address this situation. The plan should be a complete solution, not just a quick fix. Actually, there is not quick fix to this situation. Any attempt to quick fix this, will just get us right back to the same place, if not at a worse place.
Look out to our blog on the coming Friday morning. We will definitely post a well researched, end-to-end solution for the above challenge.
However, would really like to hear of burnout cases in case any. Looking forward to your inputs.