The Anxious Achiever

By HBR Presents / Morra Aarons-Mele

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Description

Host Morra Aarons-Mele is on a mission to reframe how we think about anxiety and mental health in the workplace. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. We desperately need better models for leadership and a more holistic view of mental health. Our culture tells those of us who suffer from anxiety and depression that we can’t succeed but we tell a different story — without sugarcoating the tough stuff. We feature stories from people who’ve been there and experts who can help you thrive. The views expressed on this podcast are those of its hosts, guests, and callers, and not those of Harvard Business Review.

Episode Date
Tackling Leadership Struggles, Burnout, and Performance Anxiety
2653
Leading a group of people can produce chronic anxiety, but many leaders who suffer from anxiety don’t even realize it. In today's episode we explore anxiety related to leadership and how performance anxiety can hold us back at work. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Steve Cuss, a leadership consultant and the lead pastor of Discovery Christian Church in Broomfield, Colorado, about leadership anxiety and burnout. Then Present Voices founder Leah Bonvissuto offers Morra practical tips for conquering performance anxiety.
Dec 02, 2019
What No One Tells You: The Emotional Strain of Startup Life
2208
We hear the stories of successful Silicon Valley startups all the time. But entrepreneurship can also have a dark side, especially when it involves going broke, losing sleep, and working 100-hour weeks. This week, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Emma Mcilroy, CEO of Wildfang International, who has been outspoken about the emotional strain of startup life.
Nov 25, 2019
Battling Depression from the C-Suite
1811
For most of his life, Paul Greenberg suffered from severe depression -- depression so bad that he had near constant thoughts of suicide from the age of 13. But you'd never know it if you met him. And he has built a successful media career, including stints at MTV and Time, and eventually becoming the CEO of CollegeHumor. To battle the depression, he tried some 75 different medications before his medical team suggested electroshock therapy, which he says has saved his life. And it wasn't until the deaths of public figures like Robin Williams, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain that Greenberg went public with an op-ed in The Hollywood Reporter. This week, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Paul Greenberg, now CEO of Butter Works, a media company, about his long, painful journey, and how he views depression at the workplace today. The number for the Suicide Prevention Hotline in the U.S. is 1-800-273-8255.
Nov 18, 2019
Managing Career Transitions Part 2: Taking A Break
2052
Many people in the business world find their success by always being “on.” They wake up at 4 a.m., answer emails 24 hours a day, and don't take vacations. Sometimes they’re so high functioning that they don't even realize they have symptoms of anxiety until they take time away from the office. This week, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Alyssa Mastromonaco, former White House deputy chief of staff and former chief operating officer of Vice Media. They talk about running on all cylinders, realizing you need time away from the office, and dealing with the depression that can come from needing to redefine who you are outside the office.
Nov 11, 2019
Managing Career Transitions Part 1: Facing Childhood Demons
1911
Whether you’re getting fired, taking a promotion, or leaving a job you love, career transitions are a time of anxiety. In the next two episodes, we’ll be focusing on how to manage anxiety associated with big changes at work. This week, we focus on the tough work you should do before a big transition to understand your feelings. Our guest is career coach Jerry Colonna, author of "Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up." He argues that a lot of the adult problems we face can spring from fundamental childhood experiences. We act out childhood hurts in our leadership and interactions at work, from the people we hire to the way we think about money. Therefore, understanding how your childhood has shaped you and facing your demons is vital for anyone who truly wants to thrive in their career.
Nov 04, 2019
How We Cope: Food and Eating Disorders at Work
2186
Work is a part of our daily lives — as is food. Disordered eating and diagnosed eating disorders can be tricky to deal with at the office, but they can be common in high achievers and are closely tied to anxiety and mental health. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Melissa Gerson, director and founder of the Columbus Park treatment center for eating disorders, about the relationship between anxiety and eating, and how it can play out at work.
Oct 28, 2019
How the Mental Affects the Physical
2482
Anxiety and stress can have detrimental effects on your physical health — which can affect your job and your career path. In this episode, host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Jason Miller, the director of the Leadership Academy at OhioHealth. Miller, whose work specializes in awakening joy, purpose, and meaning in work, had always driven himself very hard. He was the first in his family to go to college, followed by becoming a senior executive at a global company. But then Miller found himself in the ER, convinced he was having a heart attack and realized he needed to make some major changes (and no, he didn't Eat, Pray, Love). Morra also shares her own story of a recent panic attack that left her hospitalized. Plus, Dr. David Barlow, a pioneer in the field of treating stress, discusses strategies for coping with anxiety, stress, and phobias, and how to "right size" your problems — while admitting anxiety isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Oct 21, 2019
The Anxiety of Being the “Only”
2361
Being the "only" in the workplace -- the only woman, the only person of color, the only one openly suffering from a mental or physical illness -- can contribute to existing mental health issues. At the same time, bringing your whole self to work -- even when you are an "only" and might be the only person struggling with clinical depression or anxiety -- can be a huge strength in the business world. In this episode, we'll look at anxiety and depression through the lens of being an “only” or a “first” at work. Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with two experts on the topic: Angela Neal-Barnett, an award-winning psychologist and expert on anxiety among African-Americans, and author of “Soothe Your Nerves,” and Nilofer Merchant, the author of “The Power of Onlyness.”
Oct 14, 2019
Social Anxiety and Success
2246
We're often told that to succeed in the workplace, you need to bring your A game, play office politics, and network nonstop. But how do you do that when you suffer from social anxiety? Host Morra Aarons-Mele speaks with Ellen Hendriksen, a clinical psychologist, and Arvind Rajan, the CEO of Cricket Health and a former executive at LinkedIn, to discuss his journey with anxiety.
Oct 07, 2019
Your Mental Health and Your Work
1931
At a time when we bring so much of ourselves to work, mental health is still something we don’t like talking about at the office. But so many high-achieving people have suffered — or are currently suffering — from anxiety, depression, or other mental and emotional issues. Our guest, Scott Stossel, national editor of the Atlantic and author of “My Age of Anxiety,” explains where anxiety comes from and how it affects us in our work — for better or worse. We look at why it is so important to align mental health and leadership, and to better understand how anxiety impacts our working lives.
Sep 30, 2019
Introducing The Anxious Achiever
208
New from the HBR Presents podcast network: a show about mental health in the workplace. We explore the ways anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues affect people at work, for better and for worse. We’ll hear from leaders who have succeeded in spite of their mental health struggles, and from experts who offer advice on how to reach your professional goals.
Sep 19, 2019