A Look at CEOs and Upper Managers – Is it Lonely at The Top?
When we think of bettering our careers, we tend to romanticise life at the top, and dismiss the phrase ‘it’s lonely at the top’ as a half-hearted cliché.
But recent research and accounts of mental health of upper management, globally, suggests there might be more to it.
Increased Responsibility, Increased Risk
A move into upper management is not without its increase in responsibilities which is a lot of weight and worry on a manager’s shoulders.
Managers know they need to set a good example, delegate tasks effectively to the right people and take the blame if things go wrong.
This can cause CEOs and managers to want to keep a closer eye on projects which only increases their to-do list and stress.
Going the Distance
The gauge for the right distance is also a recipe for loneliness for managers.
You have to be close enough to your team that they don’t see you as aloof but distant enough that they respect you.
And, of course, it doesn’t serve well to be close to only a few or accusations of favouritism will trip you up!
Everyday office frustrations happen and when they do a manager knows they will cause people to look for someone to blame.
If you are in upper management, you may as well have a target on your back.
A manager needs to know that resentment will come their way but that doesn’t always make it easier to accept.
It can cause some managers to feel isolated from their team with no one left to talk to.
How can a CEO and Upper Manages Feel Less Lonely?
Management training is all well and good, but it often focuses on the skills and strategy and logistics of being a manager and rarely touches upon the mental strain of the role.
If other leaders in upper management could coach newer managers to be aware of the possible mental struggles and loneliness they could teach them some preventative methods.
CEOs and upper managers need to build a network of support with other CEOs and professionals.
That way, they’ll always have people to go to who understand and share their concerns.
It’s also important to have non-work friends and hobbies to avoid burnout and ensure that you’re carving out time in your life that has no room for work worries.
It’s also important for CEOs and upper managers to remember that the most successful CEOs and upper managers have people skills.
Demonstrate gratitude and thanks to the team where they deserve it to keep a happy team and a good working relationship that paints you as involved and caring rather than distant and clueless.
Mental health issues can affect anyone in a business, and it doesn’t stop when you get to the top!
If a company and a team is a direct reflection of the leader, that leader needs to be healthy, happy and comfortable at work.