It’s easy to think that CEOs have it all together. After all, they had to be highly skilled to work their way up into this position. They earn a high salary, they’re well-respected, and when their company succeeds, they reap the rewards of their hard work.
But, the truth is, being a CEO is an extremely stressful job.
Without the proper supports, the weight of such an important and high-ranking position can be soul crushing. Thankfully, working with a psychologist that is skilled in therapy and executive coaching can neutralize the secret struggles of CEOs.
CEOs need access to objective information in order to make smart decisions. But it can be hard for you to get that information from your employees and the consultants you work with. Employees may be fearful of being too honest or providing an unpopular perspective on a tough situation. People might try to sway you a certain way for their own benefit, making it harder for you to discern who is biased and who is honest. Trying to separate half-truths from genuine feedback can be draining. An outside confidant can help you see all sides to an issue.
Having Reluctant Advisors
CEOs want the people they work alongside to give them honest advice when the situation calls for it. But someone who works closely with a chief executive might be reluctant to do so. They may be nervous that delivering real criticism will result in backlash. In some situations, they might not want to come under fire for their own mistakes or false assessments, so they fudge the truth. You need constructive criticism and real, unbiased perspectives, but it can be hard for others to give it to you. Instead of having another “yes man”, employ a psychologist who will tell it to you straight.
Facing Unrelenting Evaluation and Criticism
What happens when the company is having a problem? Suddenly, all eyes are on the CEO. At a large corporation, you’re the one who will have to answer to the press and deal with potential public relations issues. And at a small company, every employee looks to you for guidance and solutions on what to do next. The constant evaluation from the board, employees, and other stakeholders can start to wear on a person. Having a therapist to process those negative thoughts and feelings can keep you from being buried alive by other’s opinions of you.
Making Big Decisions
CEOs are generally in charge of making major decisions for their company. Knowing that you have to make a tough call can keep you up at night or preoccupy all your waking thoughts. You know that if you don’t make a wise choice, it will not only reflect poorly on you but the company as a whole. When you’re responsible for making lots of decisions, you can experience decision fatigue. Evaluating options and trying to make smart choices is literally exhausting! An executive coach can help you weigh the options and lessen the load of all the hard decisions you have to make.
Being Solely Responsible
Oftentimes, a CEO will find that they are the only person at their company who can perform a certain task or answer a certain question. This means that you will have many people coming to you for approval or assistance each day. It makes it harder to focus on the tasks that you want to accomplish. And knowing that so many people look to you for guidance puts a lot of pressure on your shoulders. Failing to set appropriate boundaries will lead to burn out. Luckily, therapists are skilled at helping people learn to set boundaries and engage in self-care.
CEOs may think that they don’t have a right to express their negative feelings about their role. There’s an implicit message that says you should only be grateful for what you have. However, denying your true feelings and hiding your struggles is a recipe for burn out, depression, anxiety, or substance abuse.
High-ranking executives often benefit from therapy. Working with a psychologist such as myself, who acts as a therapist and executive coach, helps alleviate feelings of isolation, unhappiness, and burnout. If you’re struggling with your mental health, I have the education and background to address that. In addition, I provide the honest feedback that chief executives genuinely need.
Do you work in a high-level corporate position? Are you currently a CEO struggling with feelings of dissatisfaction or unhappiness? You are not alone! And you deserve to be able to talk to someone about your feelings. If you would like to know more about how therapy can benefit you, please reach out for a free 20 minute phone consultation.