Musings on my support of social impact leaders in their overwhelm around leading self, household and enterprise:
“I’m totally losing it” said the well-dressed, 40-year old CEO with desperation in her voice. She just came out of a tough conversation with her chief of staff, who informed her that after losing a big account, the company would be running at a major deficit- like tomorrow.
“And on top of that, my mom just went into the hospital- she needs brain surgery next week, it’s serious.”
She swallowed back hot tears until she couldn’t anymore. And through her constricted voice, she sobbed, “I don’t know how to survive in this position and stay human, it’s just too much.”
This scenario is a familiar one in my work with organizational leaders who are attempting to drive social change and impact while leading their households and tending to their families. Their own wellbeing ends up last on the list. They are caught between the old regime of their father’s boardroom scene of driving profit on profit returns, bossing, oppressing and silencing and the era of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. They know that their untended wounds and personal care impacts their leadership, but can’t find the time “out” to attend to their humanity. They feel beholden to the weight of responsibilities they’ve taken on, but teeter on tapping out of this unsustainable position entirely. They want to build businesses and organizations that are more relationally-forward and connected, but are ill equipped to straddle the both-and it requires to lead in today’s world and are terrified that once you open up the can of the messiness of humaning, there’s a risk of TMI and the actual work may go to die.
Interested in corporate psychology work, let me know how I can support.