Stakeholder Management Or Babysitting Egos?

by | Apr 9, 2024 | Leadership | 0 comments

I’ve been interviewing senior leaders, those one or two levels below the c-suite, and it’s been interesting.

I’m asking them about what keeps them up at night, and what they dream about.

And a theme that has popped up so far is stakeholder management.

Now this in itself is not a surprise. At every level of an organisation you need to be able to handle those key people whose opinion and decision making can impact your work or project.

And the higher up you go in an organisation, the more your daily life is about managing those stakeholders so that the team you lead can get on and execute the vision.

And one interviewee mentioned this:

“I’m working with the CFO, CEO, VPs. Everybody has an opinion, everybody. Everybody has an ego. I think the difficulty is to start making sure that strategically I can influence them to get them to do what needs to be done.”

Recognisable, right? It’s part of the job.

But what saddens me is when I hear this:

“I genuinely feel like at the moment all I do is manage egos and I can do that, but it’s just really exhausting and I’m tired.”

I’ve heard this kind of statement from too many directors, senior managers, and head of departments.

Good people who are bridging that gap between the vision of senior leadership and the strategic and tactical work of getting shit done.

Good people who want to have a positive impact in the world, like that literally a person’s life is made better because of the work they do.

Good people who are having to put so much time and energy into managing egos.

And this work of managing egos can be exhausting.

“My fear is that I will really get burned out if nothing changes. I’m quite resilient. I know how to regulate my emotions, I have the techniques and methods for that. Yet on Sunday night, I would already feel like I’ve got a weird feeling in myself about work”.

Do you recognise this?

How do you feel on a Sunday night, knowing you’ve got work again the next day?

Fortunately, it doesn’t need to stay this way.

Take C, who I wrote about previously in this post about how they handled a terrible company culture . C also managed to find a way to handle the mental load of stakeholder management, handling all those egos.

And by reducing the mental load, they were able to focus on all the learning from the experience of working at this level like handling the exposure and visibility, and practicing getting senior stakeholders on board.

And with a clearer head they were able to plan and execute a strategic next step in their career.

Now I don’t know whether you need to make a career move or not. But I know for sure that you deserve better than babysitting egos.

So go on, stop having that funny feeling on a Sunday night, and take the step you need.

“What’s a leadership series? How’s it different from the thought series or coaching tips? Good questions.“ This series gives you tips to take your own leadership to the next level, and ways you can extend your own capabilities. Ready to take your skills to the next level, but aren’t sure where to start? Get in touch with me.

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