How did you come up with the term “Leader’s Block”?

As an executive coach, I have had the privilege of working with brilliant leaders across many geographies and industries. As I listened and worked with them, I found that every single leader had gone through a phase where they had been demotivated, uninspired, and were not able to perform to the best of their abilities. This phase was extremely painful and had a huge impact on leaders, their teams and their organization. It lasted anywhere between 3-9 months for most of them.

It intrigued me that if it is such a common phenomenon then why we don’t have a name for it. So, I decided to call this phase “Leader’s Block” in an ode to writer’s block.

Why was it important for you to give it a name? Why do you think people don’t talk openly about it?

It was important to give it a name because unless we can name or label something, we don’t recognize it or acknowledge it.

Even though ‘leader’s block’ is as common as flu we don’t talk openly about it as there is a sense of stigma attached to it. It’s a taboo as we expect our leaders to be superman and wonder woman, perfect all the time.

And that has to change, leaders have to be comfortable to ask for help otherwise it will lead to derailment and burnout.

How to leaders know they are going through leader’s block?

There are symptoms that serve as early warning signs, leaders know something is wrong when they start to:

  1. get into autopilot mode
  2. sound negative, cynical and skeptical
  3. micromanage and become transactional
  4. become irritable and short tempered and
  5. feel lost and directionless

Why is it important to acknowledge and address Leader’s Block?

The impact of leader’s block is not restricted to the leader. It has a ripple effect on other leaders, the team, peers, family, friends and ultimately, the organization.

It affects their performance, decision-making and ability to focus, they are prone to making hasty choices and impulsive decisions.

An uninspired leader cannot inspire the team. A demotivated manager cannot motivate the team. A lost leader cannot direct the team. The scepticism, disengagement and low energy levels of the leader can leave a lasting imprint on a team and the organization.

The organization can lose hundreds to millions of dollars in unproductivity through attrition, disengagement, poor decisions and impact on employee engagement.

Who are the readers for the book?

This is a book written for the leaders by the leaders. It has stories of the leaders that others can relate to.

The book is not only for the leaders themselves, but also for their teams as it helps to recognize the symptoms in them.

Its relevant to human resource leaders as it provides a perspective on how the organization can better support the leaders in their journey.

For CEOs, it will give an insight into the minds and lives of the leaders who helped them become great. CEOs too, are not immune to leader’s block!

Book is relevant to all at all levels!