Yes, I am going through Leader’s Block!

It’s taken me few days to finally accept it. I thought I maybe in a funk and it would go away in 1-2 days. But that didn’t happen and the funk continued for weeks, it got worse and became Leader’s Block. 

For those you haven’t heard as yet,

Leader’s Block (like writer’s block) is a phase when the leader is unable to perform to the best of their abilities.

Now you might think – you are a coach and supposed to help others with Leader’s Block. But who said that Coaches are superheroes

My triggers for Leader’s Block are a combination of both external environment and my personality. The current situation has completely thrown me off my perfectly planned 2020 (which included sharing the stage with Seth Godin!). Also, like most leaders, I have a bias for action – I like to do things and that is not helping me in the current environment. Now, as an Executive Coach I understand and know

  • I have no control over it 
  • I need to pivot
  • I need to adapt (for e.g. start virtual speaking/online programs)
  • I need to change
  • ……..

But that knowledge alone doesn’t stop me from feeling blocked, demotivated and uninspired. 

Some of the symptoms that I have been displaying are:

  • Not writing my weekly blogs/articles or anything such
  • Not feeling energized even though I go for regular walks 
  • Spending (wasting) a lot of time scrolling on social media without any purpose
  • Not writing my morning journal (that’s a big tell-tale sign)
  • Doing things for the sake of completing and not with all my heart

For my book Leader’s Block: How Great Leaders Recover After They Stumble, I had interviewed over 200 leaders across geographies to know their stories and to find out the triggers, symptoms and possible ways to overcome Leader’s Block.

With that knowledge, I could quickly recognize, acknowledge and take actions to overcome my Leader’s Block.

So I reached out for help. I spoke with my mentor. I engaged with a coach (yes, I have a coach too). Through these sessions I am learning (re-learning) to step back, to become comfortable with this feeling of edginess/uncertainty and to make a more conscious shift from doing to being.

I am not home as yet, but on road to recovery!

As I always say (to myself now):

  • Its temporary
  • I will come out of it wiser and stronger
  • I am not alone

Ps: it’s not my first experience with Leader’s Block.

There are various studies and articles including the one from – World Economic Forum Weforum highlighting the psychological impact of the lockdown, resulting in rise of Leader’s Block and burnouts in the months to come. These risks can be proactively mitigated by having open conversations and reaching out to your board of advisors – friends, colleagues, mentors and coaches!

I am sharing my story with the hope that more leaders will find it easy to have open conversations about Leader’s Block. We need these conversations today more than ever! 

If this article resonates with you and you want to know more about Leader’s Block – you can buy a copy of the book on amazon or connect with me at [email protected] to have a conversation. 

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