The Curse of being “Senior”
It’s what we all aspire to, isn’t it, to become “senior” in our profession, and get on the holy grail of becoming the “expert” and “leader” in our chosen field and passion.
So why is it that the world of work is falling down in front of our eyes?
Mental health problems are on the rise, leaders are suffering from breakdowns, divorce rates are high amongst the senior ranks, and stress takes its toll on health, family, well-being and life.
Here are assumptions my experience as an Executive Mentor shows me contributes to the curse of being senior:
- Senior means people assume so much about you - that you lose fear, don’t need help, know exactly what you are doing, wouldn’t want to be challenged, & have everything under control.
- The fact you're “senior” means you have this “leadership” thing totally cracked, right?
- You are super happy with the path you are on. You've sacrificed so much, worked so hard & won so many awards, which naturally gives satisfaction & contentment.
- Investing in your own growth isn’t needed, because being “senior” means coming equipped with a full toolbox.
- You don’t come with baggage from your life outside of work, such as subconscious beliefs & thoughts that could affect how you think & experience the world deep inside. As a "senior" player, you are an expert at coping with the thorns in your side.
And I could go on.
To equip our future generations to thrive in the workplace, we first need to equip our current generation of established and rising leaders to thrive in this ever-changing and highly-demanding landscape we call work.
- Let’s start with WELLBEING.
Professional well-being, not fluffy nice-to-have stuff, but fundamental support investment and targeted advice that helps a leader to thrive and be happy in their own skin.
- Now identify OPPORTUNITY for that leader to grow.
Too many leaders stagnate as a result of everyone assuming so much about them. Get clear on professional motivation and therefore the required opportunities that will fuel the engine in a positive way.
- Keep it REAL, people!
Boundaries boundaries boundaries. Learn to switch off and give your senior people permission to not be Demi-Gods.
- And let's round it off with KNOWLEDGE.
Knowledge, as they say, is power. Be brave enough to pause to not just operate on autopilot, but to stop and reflect about what it is you now know and how best can you use it. The results are often astounding once you give yourself permission to truly connect with your knowledge, not just your skills or experience.
So how’s being “senior” working out for you?
Sally Henderson is an International Executive Mentor with a proven passion for helping high fliers fly higher in a healthier way!
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