What seems largely unexplored is the heightened sense of responsibility or “over-responsibility” that some leaders feel.
Especially caring leaders.
They can spend their career feeling like they are carrying a weight.
Many feel unable to switch off or relax at any time under this huge sense of responsibility for everything that goes on in their organization, no matter how big or small and regardless of whether they have control over it or not.
That shows up in the body in a multitude of ways. One leader described it as a lead weight in the shoulders.
This sense of over-responsibility seems less tied to the accountability as a leader and more to personality. Likely a learned way of being in the world.
Taking over-responsibility isn’t a healthy way to operate. It’s related to martyrdom.
And underneath martyrdom (sacrificing yourself) lies resentment.
That’s not going to put you at your best. Ever.
It’s the road to burnout.
Particularly given how unusual this last year has been, it’s even more vital for you as a leader to consider how to alleviate overwhelming stress.
Key to that is reflecting on your own role in the development of stress and committing to addressing your own needs.
Being the leader you dream of means taking 100% responsibility for everything going on around you.
100% – but NO MORE than that.
When things go wrong, you have to take ownership in fixing them. But it’s not just on you. Your team also needs to take ownership and responsibility.
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