Anyone who has owns or runs a business knows that there are a range of stressors or challenges that go with the job.

Putting in long hours, feeling isolated, worrying about cash-flow and all that decision making comes with a sense of great responsibility.  There can also be external factors outside their control that influence the business or the demands on their time.

We all know the culture of any organisation starts at the top, with the behaviour modelled by a company’s owner or CEO. While CEOs and business owners take the load of the business on their shoulders, we must remember that they too are human.

Just like anyone else they are prone to feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the heavy workload and responsibility that goes with running an organisation. It is often difficult for leaders and business owners to show vulnerability and admit they are struggling for fear of being viewed as weak; thus, this impacts on their mental health and ability to function effectively in the same way it does for others.

If you are a leader or business owner, it is important to:

  • Stay connected and find someone who you can talk with. Having access to social support is one of the main things you can do to keep well. Reach out to a close friend and confide in them; build a support system.
  • Understand that depression and anxiety are not character flaws.  They are extremely common and can be successfully treated.
  • Speak openly about your own mental health; be candid about your own experience with mental illness if you have such experience. Top down solutions can be extremely powerful for all.
  • Access professional help

Take off the Mask

Many of us have been raised in a society where leaders are expected to be tough, where we are supposed to have all the answers, all the time — and if you don’t, you’d better make it look like you do.  Instead of constantly striving for perfectionism, putting on a brave face or worrying about what others think, the new leader allows themselves to be truly seen. It is their courage to be imperfect that makes them both dependable and effective…… And that got be a good thing.

Together we can create workplace cultures that people can be themselves without fear of judgement.