The struggle of wellbeing in a senior leadership role with Brian Henderson

candid craic leadership organisation wellbeing Apr 22, 2021

In this Candid Craic, we talk to Brian Henderson about his experience of struggling with his psychological and physiological wellbeing in a senior leadership role, and how he is using it to help inform current executives just how harmful at individual and organisational levels the experience can be.

Brian explains his reaction on realising he was experiencing all the signs of poor wellbeing, and why others in the same position might be equally likely to shrug it off just as he did; how he finally came to terms with what he was going through; the clues and signals that one might be in the early stages of a mental health challenge; and the organisational conditions that contributed to it.

He explains how he coped with stress prior to that moment, and learned to cope in a more holistic mind, body and spirit manner afterwards; and how that embodied, whole self contrasts with the fragmenting self he was experiencing as the workplace pressures starting ramping up.

Reflecting on the irony of his colleagues best intentions arguably making things far worse, Brian explains how he is employing his leadership experience to help executives think more deeply about wellbeing beyond current practices; how and why design thinking can help that process; and how and why leaders, HR and business schools can contribute to creating future organisations that place wellbeing at the heart of work.

00:12 Hello Brian
01:15 Just what is it that Brian does? Wellness Awareness & Capability
04:30 The Wellbeing Gap & The Under/Overwhelm of the Bingo Card Moment
09:40 Unwell Leadership: On Compassion, Numbness and "Wimpiness"
15:33 Reflections on Complexity and Ambiguity in Organisational Transformation
20:56 Coping Methodologies - what worked for Brian before and after
26:55 The Embodied Self - Mind, Body & Spirit
29:20 The Fragmenting Self - the impact on the work
35:05 Well Leadership: Holistic and Systemic Wellbeing at Work
39:47 Design Thinking and the Well Employee Experience
42:47 Leadership, HR & Business Schools: towards a Future of Wellbeing
50:55 The Nine Trillion Dollar Question