Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

3 Signs You’re Taking on Too Much

Image via Maksim Shmeljov/Shutterstock.com

NBA star Kobe Bryant blew out his Achilles tendon in a game last Friday night. In a last ditch effort to get the Lakers into the playoffs, the 34 year old, 17 year veteran logged more than 40 minutes a game in his last 10 outings. As Bill Plaschke explains in his LA Times column, while both the Lakers head coach and general manager were worried about Bryant’s health neither could keep him off the floor. Bryant calls his own shots and was determined to play no matter what. Now he’s got no choice but to be off the court for the next six to nine months.

Maybe the Lakers will make it to the playoffs without him. Maybe not. (They won the next game after his injury and Bryant’s back up scored 23 points.)

Like me, you’ve probably seen a lot of leaders who take on too much. You might even be one of them. What are the warning signs that you might be taking on so much that you’re headed towards your own version of a ruptured Achilles tendon?

With the Kobe Bryant story in mind, here are three of them:

1. You’re Not Taking Breaks: I couldn’t find it again while writing this post, but I saw a quote from Kobe earlier in the weekend in which he essentially said that he was surprised his Achilles blew out because he had never had problems like that before. He’s also never been 34 years old in the NBA before. To avoid breakdowns, every high performing leader needs to take a break now and then. That’s even more true as you age. Your body needs time to renew and regenerate both mentally and physically. Without that time, a breakdown is practically guaranteed.

2. You’re Not Giving Other Players a Chance: The second highest scoring Laker in the game after Kobe went down was his back-up, Steve Blake. It makes you wonder what the Lakers longer term prospects would be if Kobe had given Blake a chance to play a little more throughout the season. If you’re a leader who always has to have the ball, you’re probably keeping other players from developing and, in the process, hurting the long term prospects of the team.

3. You Ignore the Warnings: There were a lot of people close to Bryant including his coach and GM that were worried about him injuring himself by playing too much. He ignored the warnings. If the people in your life who have your best interests at heart are counseling you to back off, the mindful thing to do is listen and take a different approach to getting results.

Mindful leaders pay attention to the warning signs. What are the other warning signs that you might be taking on too much?

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.