Insecure overachievers on the record


A year after the launch of Leading Professionals: Power, Politics, and Prima Donnas and Andrew Hill’s explosive column in the Financial Times (‘Insecure overachiever? You’re perfect for the job’), the discussion of insecure overachievers is moving on.

In 25 years of my research into leadership and professional firms, people have spoken to me about insecurity in themselves and their colleagues – but only ever anonymously.  Now, some very senior City of London professionals have spoken to me on the record, in my BBC documentary about the highs and lows of being insecure overachievers.  They talk about how they’re trapped in a culture of overwork by their organisations and client expectations – and how clients may be the answer to changing the culture.

You can listen to and download the programme on the BBC iPlayer here.

To accompany the programme I wrote an article for the BBC Capital website for younger professionals: Are you an insecure overachiever?

And Andrew Hill interviewed me for his Financial Times column on 24 September 2018: Insecure overachievers and how to handle them. He concludes: ‘As veteran overachievers’ confessions suggest, there is no separate strain of unshakeably secure alpha-humans ready to lead the largest organisations. Better, then, that the system should recognise, adapt to, and accommodate future leaders’ insecurities, for everyone’s benefit.’