Steven Mundahl, CEO and Sharon Massoth, Psychotherapist
Having an aptitude for leadership usually shows up early in life. Yet our greatest strengths also contain elements of our greatest weaknesses. Risk-taking is a good example. (I put a risk-taking quiz on my website for that reason.)
The ability to take good calculated risks can also turn into reckless behavior unless you have a strong “inner coach” at the helm. We only need to read the morning headline of the latest “outed” leader to ask ourselves:
- Are my decisions based from a “personal entitlement” ethics? (the impact on others is not part of the decision-making)?
- Are any sensation-seeking activity “highs” of my life kept secret?
- Do I obsess over anything or anyone?
- Am I pursuing a forbidden “treat” at all costs?
- Do I have an area of my life that is lacking, leaving a gap to be filled, especially my love life?
- When I get upset or work extra hard, do I rationalize that it is ok to “treat” myself?
- Do I have chronic stress in my life leading to impulsive vs. will-powered behavior?
- Am I constantly in need of a “high” to appease my sensation-seeking personality?
Strengthening your “Inner Coach”:
If the answer to any of these is yes, your impulsive side may be winning the battle over your will-powered self. I call this your wise inner coach. I tell leaders “It is natural to be drawn to “sin” spelled CIN: (Complex, Innovative and New experiences)! That’s what makes you a born leader! The question is whether it is a positive “high”.
If you are feeling uncomfortably close to being “outed”, seek help from a business/life coach or psychotherapist trained at getting to the root cause of reckless or addictive behavior. Reach for that leadership courage you are known for. Choose to do it sooner rather than later because you are probably miscalculating your risks.
Leaders who have a deep interest in authenticity do well with coaching or therapy. They know that true alchemy means transformation: calling out the thieves that steal from you: all risky, addictive or negative behaviors. A life coach can help you look at emotional wounds that contribute to your behavior, while honoring the leader’s natural need for new novel experiences. You can make better choices. You can “go for the alchemy “gold” by not settling for cheap substitutes.
It Takes What It Takes: A recent coaching client spoke of how long it took him to go to get help for an addictive lifestyle. Getting close to being “outed”, he finally “surrendered”. He remarked that it was the same with stopping extreme winter sports. Only the pain of a reoccurring injury made him reluctantly give it up. It takes what it takes!
Take The Higher Road:
Borrow the pain of those “outed” so that you don’t have to create your own drama to put a stop to reckless behavior whether it’s speeding or a more serious behavior. You are an authentic leader deep in your core. Get a “true high” from getting healed of negative beliefs and patterns. Pursue positive passions and authentic choices. This spirit of authenticity will carry over into your company. It’s an easier more peaceful lifestyle. My client said, “The light is coming on. There is not one person I can’t look in the eye. My employees know I am different.” The world of leaders needs more lights coming on.