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How to Overcome Overwhelm

Recently I conducted a workshop for high-performing and high-potential medical doctors. They were the budding elite in their profession — exceptional surgeons, diagnosticians and clinicians. They published papers pushing the boundaries of their specialties; they met with patients and literally saved lives; they actively served the medical profession as volunteers; for example, they taught in medical school and mentored residents. They were also trying to manage the complexity of their professional lives with personal well-being (hobbies, exercise, investing) as well as relationships with friends and family — parents, spouses, partners, children. They were involved in so many good causes as their professional training made the world a much better place. And they were also overwhelmed.

When I coach rising business leaders probably 50 to 60% of their questions are about finding a way to cope with their increasing demands. Many of these issues are about making choices between professional, personal and family aspirations. Both men and women struggle with trying to “do it all”, but it is particularly poignant with women who try to be high-performing professionals (increasing job scope and promotions), attentive spouses (many have husbands who have secondary careers), and mothers (sometimes with their biological clock running down).

Make. Work. Better.

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WRITTEN BY
Dave Ulrich
David (Dave) O. Ulrich, PhD, is Rensis Likert Collegiate Professor of Business Administration and Director, Human Resource Executive Program, University of Michigan. He is also a Partner in the RBL Group.
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