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Feeling Overwhelmed is the Sign of a Poor Leader

Here’s a New Year’s Resolution for you…try saying, “I will not allow myself to become OVERWHELMED in 2020.”

Good leaders should never be (or say) that they are feeling overwhelmed.
Being overwhelmed is a sign of bad management.

Overwhelmed happens when you are surprised by an event or a happening. A good leader should not be surprised by work; instead they should anticipate and be prepared.

The dictionary defines the word overwhelmed as meaning complete defeat. This is not a good position for any leader.
So who are the truly overwhelmed?

  • Firefighters when the fire is raging out of control and they need more support all while the wind works against them. – Those are people who are overwhelmed.
  • Unfortunate people who lose their family, home or possessions from natural disasters – it is understandable to term these individuals as overwhelmed with grief or despair.

Have you ever stood at a bar or sat at a restaurant table watching the bartender or waiter rush around trying to get things done and never making you feel welcome or helping you to enjoy the experience? By showing how overwhelmed they are, they are trying to make you – the customer – feel sorry for them and appreciate how hard they work.

When this happens to me my reaction is just the opposite. I immediately think bad management, they don’t have enough help and I will not be back! This place of business was not thinking about the customer experience, I don’t want to see people who believe they are overworked. In fact, quite often I don’t think of them as being overworked – they just didn’t know how to deal with their work responsibilities.

This is similar to the boss or business owner who brags about having to work 7 days a week and 10 hours a day! He/she isn’t someone to be admired; they are rather someone who needs help and better planning skills.

How would you like to be operated on by a doctor who tells you they are OVERWHELMED?

Leaders and managers must know their limitations in order to perform quality work and produce positive results.  They need to delegate and even say NO when necessary. They need to have discussions with co-managers, employees or even bosses explaining why they are saying NO to a request to take on a new project at this time.  Explaining that if they say YES to this new request, they will not get the results they are looking for in a timely and professional manner.

Being busy and having work to do is a GOOD thing, Having too much work to do where you start believing you will never get all of it done or done in the manner you would consider top quality is a BAD thing.

Employees who watch their management team always looking stressed and under pressure (i.e. overwhelmed) never want to be them or have their jobs.  It stunts personal growth as a culture in a company. The managers and leaders that are admired and everyone would like to become are those that have the time to meet with staffers, take the time to have a personal and business life and demonstrate control of both.

In conclusion never allow yourself to become overwhelmed and even If you feel you are – don’t say it or show it and get yourself un-overwhelmed or unemployed by being replaced. That should always be your decision – your agenda.

What steps can you take so that you are never overwhelmed?

  • Plan your next day (tomorrow) before you leave your office each night. WRITE down what must be done, who you must talk to, and what you need to get done!
  • Stick to your plan… control your day and don’t allow others to dictate or distract you from your planned day.  Many times when people stopped at my door and asked to meet with me, I gave them a time later in the day or maybe even for the next day (if it wasn’t urgent) for us to meet.  STAY TRUE TO YOUR PLAN.
  • Say NO when you know when you have other issues and tasks that haven’t been completed when you are offered or charged with new tasks.
  • Take that walk at lunchtime to take a deep breath if necessary.  The weekend is for you and your family. Use it well so that you have a feeling of being refreshed and actually looking forward to returning to work on Monday.
  • Start your day in a positive way. Smile. Follow your plan and good things will happen.

“Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.”
Tyler Knott Gregson, Poet/Social Media Personality

Merrill Banks, CSP, CEO founded LLoyd Staffing in 1971. Under his direction, LLoyd has grown into the largest privately owned staffing firm on Long Island (NY) and a well respected name in the recruitment and search industry.   READ MORE

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