Teams In Trouble # 7: Passing The Buck - - How To Escape The Endless Loop
R&D Team

Adrenaline Addiction - How Leaders And Teams Suffer

Adrenaline_addiction_2 Are you or someone you know addicted to adrenaline? 

Many in leadership positions are addicted to adrenaline and don't even know it.

Not only does the adrenaline addict pay a price (working harder and harder, rushing, poor relationships, etc.), the organization they work for suffers (everything is last minute, poor strategic planning, always in crisis management, etc.). 

Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, has this to say about adrenaline addicts:

"There is something particularly insidious about adrenaline addiction that makes it hard for many leaders to kick the habit.  Unlike other addicts whose behaviors are socially frowned-upon, adrenaline addicts are often praised for their frantic activity, even promoted for it during their careers.  And so they often wear their problem like a badge of honor, failing to see it as an addiction at all in spite of the pain it causes."

Read Lencioni's article: "The Painful Reality of Adrenaline Addiction

Adrenaline addiction is a recoverable condition.  Here is a self-test to help you determine your level of addiction and some tips on how to overcome your addiction:

Download Adrenaline_self_test_iatf

When you have reserves -- when you operate from the place of having more than enough, you show up differently.

You’re able to be fully present with people - - your team members, your customers, your, suppliers, your friends, your spouse, your children...

On the other hand, if all you have is just enough - or worse, NOT enough - it becomes very easy to operate from a place of lack and fear.  Operating from abundance and possibility thinking is out of the question and so is anything having to do with inspiration. 

The greatest barrier to establishing strong reserves is an addiction to adrenaline.

As your addiction to adrenaline diminishes, your ability to develop strong reserves increases.

This leadership lesson comes from the IATF Leader As Coach Fast Track Program.


Tracey Hughes

I LOVED this article! I will be giving a copy to my CEO.


Defiantly and eye opener!!!!! The test is recommendable for all Leaders and the rest too.

Damien Lim

An excellent well written article that should be recommended reading for all authority figures.

Sue Piper

Loved the information on Adrenaline lifestyle and the quick fixes. Goes without saying that the self test was a wake up call.

Many thanks

Karen Valencic

Great article...I will send to most of my coaching clients. Thanks Tom, I like the new look too!

Norma Smith Davis

This is great! I have been looking for something to supplement my coaching/training on procrastination which is often done because it gives people a high to rush and get it done at the last minute. Thank you!

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