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Monday, August 12, 2013

Managers becoming increasingly isolated, neuroscientist warns

CEOs and top management are becoming increasingly isolated and are struggling to deal with the pressure placed on them.

That's the view of cognitive neuroscientist and business improvement strategist Dr Lynda Shaw who believes that the increasingly fast pace of life is causing CEOs to neglect their mental and physical health. 

 "As CEO's are responsible for most high level strategic decisions in the corporate world, it can be incredibly intense, and dealing with this level of continued pressure can be detrimental to their own wellbeing and personal lives," Shaw said.

"Rising to the influential position of CEO may seem the height of success and glamour on the surface with the wealth, authority and influence that goes with it, but the flip side is CEO's are increasingly sleep-deprived, stressed and lonely at the top.

"Sleep is more important than food in the short term for survival but long term sleep deprivation is also known to be linked to high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke and obesity. A lack of sleep and unpredictable sleeping patterns also affect your mood and behaviour tending to make us very irritable and short tempered, causing a strain on relationships.  A severe lack of sleep will leave you energy-less, unable to do the things you enjoy in life which can be a part of the downward spiral leading into depression." 

An inability to switch off and relax away from work is also a common problem Shaw sees amongst management.

"In evolutionary terms, the brain hasn't structurally evolved for many thousands of years but one thing we do know is that the human brain adapts brilliantly.  It adapts all the time.  It is, however, vital that we don't feel overwhelmed. In my opinion, it is incredibly important to seek respite from work on a daily basis, even if we love or are very driven by what we do.

"It can also be very lonely making cut-throat decisions that can affect any number of people within an organisation.  We get to the top because we are able to make those sorts of decisions but there is a tendency for CEO's to get caught up on the strategic side of a company and to lose touch with the company' s operations and staff, not to mention their own families and friends."

View the original article here

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