Executive stress


A survey was recently conducted by Assochem (association of chemical industries) on CEOs working in Indian environment as well as for Multinationals. The study covered 270 CEOs and CMDs across most industrial sectors, stated that while these persons suffer quite a bit of stress mainly brought on by severe business competition, most of them still do not consult doctors. Study finds 82 pc of medical consultants at firms are not approached by corporate heads for stress related experience or problems.

More than 66 percent said that they do come under a stress with mental pressure being the top complaint. About 70 percent suffer more from mental stress than any physical strain. For 22 percent stress levels were moderate and 11 percent said it was too much.

Many of the top level executives said they consult doctors only in case of ‘visible’ diseases and not on stress related indirect problems.

Paradoxically, not many of the corporate honchos prefer to consult their doctors unless they have symptoms of diabetes, blood pressure, in digestion and insomnia.

In reply to a separate questionnaire, 82 percent of medical consultants at companies revealed that the corporate heads do not visit them unless they have visible and severe life-style related diseases.

Severe business competition (SBC) puts the maximum of pressure on the company heads who are always looking for ‘innovation’ and through which plan strategies to stay ahead of their rivals. As many as 77 percent of the respondents said SBC was the main culprit for adding to their pressure.

Staff constraint (44 percent), work-related deadlines (44 percent) and business traveling (44 percent) are other three main reasons. There was an over lap of reasons among these three parameters. The respondents were given the options to rank the causes of stress and all the three reasons were cited with equal weight age.

Reading books, spending time with family and listening to music were cited as the three main home-grown stress busters. Yoga is catching up fast while the good, old habit of playing golf has taken a back seat.

Fifty five percent of the business leaders take to reading; while 44 percent each find spending time with family and listening to their favorite numbers as the ways to relax their nerves.

Interestingly, the CEOs said their peers in the US, Europe and China suffer more stress. The SBC in these countries takes the maximum toll on the corporate leaders than here in India, the study said.

In conclusion there are other ways to cope up with the stress. In addition to yoga and relaxing with family the executive must learn to anticipate the business problems or market behavior on a short term basis say next 6 to 12 months so that he has sufficient time to carefully plan his approach in resolving the same. He must also make provision for any changes that may occur during the time period. It may not be that easy as written here but an experienced executive who keeps himself up to date with the business trends can act as stress reliever himself. Of course one should also be in touch with the medical and yoga experts to neutralize the problems to a certain extent.

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