In response to my recent survey “CEOs need Support Too” 58% of respondents rated the degree of stress in their organisation at 7 or higher, out of 10. When organisations are stressed, the CEOs are under pressure. “I think the stress levels can change on a daily basis” stated one respondent.
How do CEOs respond? Interestingly almost one third are not good at acknowledging when they themselves are experiencing high stress and equally one third indicated that they “do not have a good mechanism for de-stressing.”
Perhaps most concerning, 28% indicated they did not have good support from their board scoring 6 or below out of 10.
Of course, the good news is that in response to that question, approximately 70% rate the support from their board between average to positive. But therein still lies opportunity. If the CEOs mindset, as well as their capability, contributes greatly to the success of a business, then the directors and leadership team should be supporting the CEO as much as the CEO supports them.
The following are examples of the responses to the question “what needs to change now?”
“Our focus – needs to be on developing change management skills as well as assisting in stress management and general well-being.”
“Greater efficiency to cope with increasing workloads and decreasing productivity.”
“To ramp-up our approach to mental health … and address psychological wellbeing”
“We are feeling the pain of long-term lockdown and Covid Impacts, new business is harder to find, and we are running at breakeven.”
“Some more fun and team building challenges… would be fun.”
“I think the stress levels can change in a daily basis.”
“My health and self-love, to enable and empower my focus.”
“Implications of a Covid positive Customer or Staff member to our ability to continue normal operations.”
What conclusions can be drawn from this exercise?
To be effective CEOs need the right mindset as well as the right skills. CEOs need the support of their board and leadership team.
The numbers above show that greater than 1/3rd believe they need more support from their board and nearly 50% are either unable or unwilling to let the CEO know when they’re overly stressed.
CEOs need the self-compassion to be able to acknowledge when they too are feeling stressed and to be conscious that they need to manage their own performance level as much as they manage others.
CEOs need to establish, nurture, and commit to a process of well-being.
What needs to change for you?
• Get some help in structuring a personal wellbeing program.
• Communicate with your board how they can support you better.
• Ensure your culture is such your leadership team members can advise you to unplug.
• Attend my “unplugged” events.
• Join my Peer-to-Peer CEO Advisory Board.
• Establish your company’s Advisory Board.
To nurture wellbeing, one step you can take regularly to unplug is to join me and a group of your CEO peers once a month for 55 minutes to briefly disconnect from that ‘always-on’ state.
In conversation with your peers, you’ll share and learn insights about topics relevant to you.
This is one positive step you can take regularly, and you need only to put it in your calendar, show up and engage.
Join me for the next Unplugged October 22nd
Rethink Your Strategy Masterclass
As you gear-up for opening in 2022 now is the time to apply new thinking to the growth strategy for your business. Take the time-out to process the learning from the last 18 months, turn your insights into foresight and make the right strategic choices for 2022.
Join me in this 2-hour Strategy Masterclass to reflect, refresh and reinvent.