Research suggests that the risk of burnout may be higher in leaders who experienced early career success. Successful Founding CEO of The Banyans, Ruth Limkin, runs a workshop to equip leaders with preventative strategies.
Risk of burnout, addiction and chronic stress may be greater for leaders
Ruth Limkin was welcomed once again to The Gathering, a weekend event designed to connect some of Australia’s young, successful business leaders. The two-day event drew a mix of young professionals spanning finance, law, tech, for-purpose and media.
Despite such diverse professional backgrounds, each young person shared early career success and a commitment to the common good.
High performance lives can also be high stress lives
Given the topic of “High Performance Lives”, Ruth was invited to speak to these executives, leaders and up-and-coming professionals about how to maintain health and wellbeing despite the increased risk of burnout and chronic stress.
Ruth highlighted that “although success may look golden, it can be easily overshadowed by its own stress.” She also alerted the young professionals to the fact that highly successful executives can be more likely to develop an addiction or dependency.
Is your glow of success being overshadowed by stress? Read more about stress may be sabotaging your life on The Banyans blog.
Ruth shares professional tips for reducing risk of burnout
Ruth is not new to the business world, with over ten years experience in high performance professional roles. Her current position as the Founding CEO of The Banyans Health and Wellness has her well positioned to equip leaders with the preventative tools required to mitigate the risk of burnout and addiction.
Ruth said, “Through my experience leading a team who treat socially successful people at The Banyans, I have seen the correlation of stress in business and addiction.” She says that the most common addictions affecting success business people are illicit drugs, prescription drugs and alcohol.
“At The Banyans, our residential rehabilitation program caters to the unique experiences and stressors professional and executive business people,” Ruth explains. “I have seen first hand, and learnt greatly from my colleagues, how to manage the stress of a high performance career.”
Research points to correlation between the risk of burnout and addiction
Drawing on the idea expressed by a Professor David Linden at John Hopkins School of Medicine, Ruth elaborated on the fact that highly successful people are often driven, dedicated and focused. She also noted that leaders are also more likely to be comfortable with risk.
Unfortunately, research also shows these traits can be more likely to be associated with addictive behaviour. These behaviours could potential include: substance misuse like alcohol or other drugs, or behavioural addictions such as gambling, gaming and online addictions.
Professor Linden’s research shows that the same neural pathways that derive pleasure from success can also make people more likely to misuse drugs, including alcohol.
Are you curious about how addiction hijacks the brain? Discover more here.
Substance misuse creates greater stress, increases risk of burnout
Highly successful people are also often shown to have experienced an early life trauma or pain that fuels their drive to achieve. Again, these adverse childhood experiences also mean someone is more likely to experience addiction.
“We may be drawn towards an addictive substance or behaviour because we have experienced it to be a tried and true method to relieve emotional discomfort,” Ruth empathizes. “We don’t notice however, that although the substance may be relieving emotional pain in the current moment, it may doing more damage in other areas of our lives.”
The cumulative effect of these other areas may also put us at greater risk of burnout and chronic stress.
Ruth acknowledges other addictive patterns potentially harming leaders
Even if a successful person doesn’t develop a substance or behavioural addiction, they are likely to focus more on their work and neglect other healthy pursuits.
“By becoming so committed to their work that they neglect other forms of self care, they forsake the ability to remain well and productive for the long term,” notes Ruth.
Using a variety of performance research, Ruth equipped professionals with the tools needed to reframe the concepts of how to live and work productively.
Ruth drew on the Facets of Wellbeing model developed at The Banyans. She shared practical strategies to help young leaders to burn bright, rather than burn out.
The Banyans is now accepting applications for 2020 keynotes and workshops
The team at The Banyans is highly experienced in providing engaging and informative health and wellness presentations.
Applications are now open for 2020 presentations. Make sure you take the opportunity to improve your business by improving your team.