How to Cope When Professional Leaders Have Addiction

How to Cope When Professional Leaders Have Addiction

Dependency on drugs can impact people’s lives and their professional careers. Leaders with addiction can make strange bedfellows because good leaders need to be focused and in control. Addiction is the complete opposite of this. To recognize and deal with dependency on leadership is challenging. The lack of accountability with professionals can keep employees from knowing about the addiction or how to handle their behavior. Find some tips on how to cope if you think a leader has an addiction in your company. 

Supervising People While Addicted

Even high-functioning addiction can be hard to manage at some point for leaders of businesses and companies. People who work for the leader and notice issues may be less likely to confront their superiors for fear of losing face (or losing their job). Professional leaders are great with social and managerial skills, but they are also risk takers who usually can hide their deficiencies and flaws well enough to get away with it for a while. Enabling addiction will create a space where the person feels they can continue doing what they are doing and may, in fact, embolden them. 

What Leaders Need

When a leader is acting erratically or seems to be hiding something, it can bring the whole team down. Judgment is not the same and their decision-making process is compromised. The corporation cannot sustain their behavior because, over time, it will erode confidence in its ability to give the consumers what they want. Leaders need to be in charge by nature, but addiction can steal that out from under their noses. End of the day, it will be mostly clear where the lack of direction and support is coming from if a leader is failing. The professional leader needs some support, which usually comes in the form of asking for help. This may include:

  • Strategies to save their career
  • Offers of treatment and recovery from the corporation
  • Therapeutic intervention
  • Executive-specific programs that support continued work while in therapy
  • Support from co-workers and peers

The best way to offer support for a leader with addiction is to recognize they are human, too. They make mistakes and they need coaxing to make the best decision for themselves and the people they lead. When a leader can recognize their own denial and move past that to ask for help, they will likely seem more proactive and willing to tackle this head on, which looks great to others in their eyes. During this time, they can work on imbalances and psychological issues that arise which will further help them as they recover in this new journey.

The Palmetto Center offers specialized programs just for leaders and executives with addiction. Our program provides a special focus for professionals including chiropractors, nurses, doctors, lawyers, and more who need help with addiction recovery. Call us to find out more: 866-848-3001.