10 Warning Signs A Leader’s Emotional & Mental Health Might Be At Great Risk – 2

As we prepare to host leaders for Dr. Abiola Salami International Leadership Bootcamp in Mombasa, Kenya next month, we consider it important to discuss Emotional and Mental Health (EMH) in leadership this month of May. This week, we will conclude the discussion on 10 Warning Signs A Leader’s Emotional & Mental Health Might Be At Great Risk.

10 Warning Signs A Leader’s Emotional & Mental Health Might Be At Great Risk – 2

E. When The Leader’s Energy Begins To Dip 

Leaders are largely supposed to inspire action by their very example of enthusiasm. Emotional and mental challenges makes people more depressed and heavy-hearted. This inward disposition usually manifests outwardly; a leader who used to be the brightest bulb in the room can turn drab when beset by these challenges. They become more pessimistic and don’t see the need to put their best foot forward because they don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. This can also be seen in the longer turnaround time for tasks, they take forever to complete basic responsibilities. Such leaders have lost the zeal for what they do.

F. When The Leader Becomes Less Tolerant & More Irritable

One classic sign that emotional and health challenges are at play in a leader’s life is that there is a preponderance of transferred aggression. Frustrations in such leaders’ personal life spill into their professional life. When an irritable leader fights a colleague at work, he or she is really fighting himself or herself. Everyone interacting with this leader will have their share of the internal chaos as our words and behaviours are the expressions of our internal state. When a leader consistently adopts an irritable method to project their discontent to others, it could be a sign that such leader requires rehabilitation and therapy. Emotional intelligence is how great leaders work alongside people they may not even agree with on certain issues, so when a leader throws all caution to the wind and simply doesn’t take cognizance of the implications of his or her words and actions – it may mean that mental health is a causality.

G. When The Leader’s Speech Becomes Less Coherent

Not every leader is blessed with the gift of the garb, many leaders are average communicators – they do just enough to get results. Therefore, a repeated pattern of incoherent speech isn’t really an indictment on a leader’s communication prowess, it really speaks to the underlying issue of incoherent thoughts. When a person’s mind is troubled, the thoughts that originate from such mind would accordingly be troubled and this is easily portrayed during speech. Neurotransmitters: brain cells function using rapid electrical impulses – a process that anchors human thoughts, behaviour and understanding of his or her environment. Just like conventional electricity, there is a possibility of a short-circuit within the brain owing to neurons not being able to work in concert and these distortions affect regular speech amongst other things.

H. When The Leader Is Enmeshed In Addictions and Obsessive Compulsive Behaviours

For example, heavy smoking, drinking, or having multiple sexual partners could all coping mechanisms. Trauma literally changes how the brain operates; this has been scientifically proven. So obsessive compulsive behaviours are really a response to emotional and mental health challenges, they are examples of looking for solutions but in all the wrong places. Addictions can come in the forms of seemingly innocuous activities like watching television, spending too much time on social media, or even spending too much shopping. These actions may not be harmful in themselves but because they are used to fill an inner void, they have a capacity to be abused. In the workplace, when leaders use leisure activities as a substitute for confronting issues, that could be a sign of emotional and mental health challenges.

I. When The Leader Tells Unprovoked Lies and Gives More Excuses

Emotional and mental health challenges amongst other things exposes a person to panic attacks. This makes the person become more anxious than ordinary; hence when there is an interrogation by others over their erratic behaviour – they deflect by lying or making excuses instead of telling the truth because stating things as they are only makes them more vulnerable. When a leader finds it hard to give straight answers to simple questions or requests, it may mean that they are hiding something which is a sign that all is not well. Lies and excuses are tools for avoiding accountability because if the truth were to be revealed, it could expose beyond a dereliction of duty for a disturbing pattern of thinking that is not consistent with an organization’s values.

J. The Leader’s Physical Health Is Frequently Challenged

Health is wholesome, so as much as the focus is mental health – there is a correlation between what goes on in our heads and how our physical body responds to such stimuli. Most depressed people usually physically manifest their emotional state. This is why therapy works where certain drugs don’t work because we are more controlled by our unconscious minds than our conscious awareness. 

Growth Opportunities

To further position your leaders for peak performance, you can download a free copy of the latest edition of The Peak Performer Magazine You can also enrol your Mid-level  Leadership Team for the Made4More Accelerator Program and your Senior Leadership Team for the Dr. Abiola Salami International Leadership Bootcamp MOMBASA 2024 We also have an upcoming training for leaders in public service

About Dr. Abiola Salami

Dr. Abiola Salami is the Convener of Dr Abiola Salami International Leadership Bootcamp and The Peak PerformerTM. He is the Principal Performance Strategist at CHAMP – a full scale professional services firm trusted by high performing business leaders for providing Executive Coaching, Workforce Development & Advisory Services to improve performance. You can reach his team on hello@abiolachamp.com and connect with him @abiolachamp on all social media platforms. 

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