For anyone who’s ever started a new role (as an employee, manager or senior leader) there can be a tendency to take on all things. Even those of us who have been in positions for some time can suffer the ill effects of hero syndrome – someone perpetually overwhelmed by the work they continuously take on. It stems from a need to feel valued, recognized, or simply liked (perfectly human, by the way). It can be an unforgiving cycle, constantly swimming in tasks for others while ignoring your own professional and personal needs.
If this sounds at all familiar, you’ll want to check out this article from Laura Berman Fortgang for some solid tips on how to break this vicious cycle!
As a new leader, this is a pitfall you’ll want to avoid. You’ll constantly be feeling like you should be doing “more” at all times.
People need me! My boss is watching! I have so much to do!
In order to be at your best you only have so much time (and energy) to expend, so you HAVE to learn where to spend it to attain the results you want.
Tip: saying “no” to requests may be difficult for high achievers, so here’s a line to use when you get asked to do something by a colleague or direct report. Instead of saying “yes” immediately, say “let me think about it.” It should be your default response. This will help buy you time to determine if you can actually say yes to the request (and if you do, time to determine what needs to move down the list!).
Think of it like the airplane emergency routine. You have to put your mask on before assisting others. Same here – don’t grind yourself into dust because in reality, no one has a gun to your head. It’s of your own doing, which also means you can take back control of your time and energy in order to work optimally.