June 14, 2021

Overcoming Executive Disorder

Overcoming Executive Disorder

I’ve worked with dozens of executives who have sought assistance and a remedy for symptoms that many executives will immediately recognise – feelings of not being in control, failing to remain on top of personal administrative matters and not having enough to show for a career of hard work and considerable stress. These, among other concerns, often translate into issues that have very personal consequences.

Apart from the obvious matter of being chronically time poor, lack of sleep and deteriorating relationships with partners, children and workmates are often unfortunate side effects.

I call it Executive Disorder. It’s a very real condition affecting many executives and it’s time to bring it out into the open, explore what it is and what can be done to overcome it. Executives working in high pressure environments constantly grapple with these and other issues, particularly with regard to personal administration – legal, tax and accounting and of course financial matters that more often than not include managing executive share schemes.

When left unaddressed, there can be serious consequences, which can range from having to defend legal claims or paying more tax than is necessary. Then there’s the financial and very personal impacts of separation, divorce and property settlements when relationships break down.

Quick fixes, denial or avoidance are common methods of dealing with difficult to manage personal affairs, which is in direct contrast to the ‘tackle-it-head-on’ approach most executives would engage in their careers.

For time-poor executives, logic is usually the answer – a structured approach that includes clear steps and tangible outcomes. In my experience as a CEO with Executive Disorder symptoms of my own, overcoming it is a 5-step process that involves a familiar and well-worn skill – delegation!

Accepting that you have finite time, getting the support you need for effectively managing your personal administrative affairs will do more than just solve problems that have been festering in the ‘too hard basket’. It will relieve time pressure (at least some of it) so it may be reallocated to your health, fitness and spending time with those you care about most.

Step 1: Develop a Personal Strategic Plan
This involves conducting your own personal SWOT analysis. Complete with immediate, medium and long-term goals, it will enable you to identify what really matters and what needs to be done.

Step 2: Assemble your Professional Team
This is the delegation part. While you may have a host of skills and expertise that enables you to lead organisations, the advice you’ll need will likely fall into the category of ‘specialised’, such as specialised tax and ESS advice. Further, the type of complex advice you are likely to need will also cross professional disciplines – financial, law, tax, property, finance etc.

Because you are time poor, delegating to your assembled team of experts (each collaborating with the other) will both save time and deliver seamless outcomes.

Step 3: Execute your personal strategic plan
With your recommendations in hand, allow your expert advisers to do their job. Many an executive has expressed to me the overwhelming ‘sense of freedom’ and ‘lightening of the load’ when they hand-over to their advice team.

Step 4: Review progress at six months
A lot can happen in six months and accountability is always important, but particularly in the early stages of working with your advice team. This is a time of getting things in order and setting up the structures for the ongoing successful management of your personal affairs. It’s also when your initial trusting decision to hand over should be justified with tangible outcomes.

Step 5: Review again at 12 months
While your six-month progress meeting presents early achievements and identifies any adjustments or changes needed in your personal strategic plan, your 12-month meeting focusses on measuring outcomes that include crossing off long overdue tasks from your to-do list. It’s also when your advice team comes together to deliver their reports, individually and in context of the sum of the whole they’ve achieved collaboratively. What you can measure you can manage is an adage many executives live by throughout their careers, and it’s equally true of their personal affairs.

Next steps…
If you suspect you are suffering from Executive Disorder, please click to download the Executive Disorder brochure, which explains the condition and the remedy in detail.

Then, because most ‘disorder’ concerns originate from personal financial matters, take a moment to complete the 5-Minute Financial Health Check. It’s confidential and has no cost or strings attached. Most importantly, it quickly gets to the crux of a range of matters that you’ve most likely been worrying about or you may not have realised you need to address.

Should you wish to find out more, please contact Irma Bantjes on +61 (0) 7 3007 2000 or mail contact@resourcesunearthed.com.au.

Resources Unearthed is a solutions hub that provides integrated financial, legal, property, accounting and business advisory services for executives, professionals and business owners in the mining and resources sectors.


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