Stress, the not-so-Silent Leader Killer

Let’s face it: Stress has always been in existence and will continue to affect us all. While the presence of stress has been widely accepted, the repercussions aren’t often well understood. In fact, in 2015, stress-related illnesses have been cited as the number one killer in the world and those in leadership positions are certainly directly in the line of fire.

While stress does inevitably affect us all, why does stress pose a particular concern for all the leaders out there? Well, it is often said that with increased responsibility comes an increased level of stress. That saying holds true in many ways, especially when you consider the limelight leaders are in. The fact is that everything a leader says, does, doesn’t say or doesn’t do is scrutinised and will influence those around them in helpful or hindering ways.

Furthermore, the impact of a stressed leader has immense implications on their reports and subsequently their organisation’s performance. This can in turn exacerbate the amount of ongoing stress a leader faces. Neuroscience tells us that when stressed, an individual’s ability to think clearly and rationally often gets impeded. Thus, a stressed leader is much more likely to make a rash decision. Such a decision can then take weeks (if not months) to correct, when considered in terms of both employee collateral and from a financial perspective.

What then should be done, given that we live in a society where immense pressure for leaders to produce the right outcome will not ease? The answer is for leaders to manage their stress levels before stress takes hold of their health, the ability to carry out their role, and their general wellbeing.

Therefore, it is time for anyone in a leadership position to invest in building their resolve and resilience to keep the not-so-Silent Killer that is Stress under control.

So leaders out there: What are you currently doing to take control of your stress levels so that you too don’t become a statistic?



Senior Consultant at Sentis

Educated Organisational Psychologist with knowledge across a broad spectrum of human capital management, performance management, employee assessment and selection, organisational assessment and development, and change management related issues. Seven years of project management experience with demonstrated results in delivering outcomes in complex projects and proven capability in working with effective teams. Demonstrated experience and confidence engaging and building credibility with senior stakeholders and building internal/external networks. Experienced in analysing complex data sets, designing surveys, undertaking quantitative and qualitative analysis, and an experienced facilitator, having delivered a range of training events and workshops.

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