May 20, 2017

Corporate Suicide: What’s the Answer?

On May 17, 2017, one of the best singers in the music industry killed himself immediately following a concert. Chris Cornell was 52. Most people wouldn’t think that Cornell was the prime age, sex, and ethnicity to commit suicide. If you’re a business executive, business owners or well-paid salesperson, it’s important for you to read this entire post. Why? Because you’re at a higher risk than Cornell.

I’m going to share some staggering statistics that affect those specific groups (executives, business owners, salespeople) and a solution many think is just a business “nice-to-have” when they don’t understand the latent power it holds.

In America, men make up the bulk of suicides. Victims of suicide are white (7 out of 10), male, and between the ages of 45 and 65. Nearly half of suicides of men involve firearms. Women attempt suicide more than men, using less lethal methods, such as drug overdose. (NBC News)

Recently, even business people as young as 22 have committed suicide, adding a new group to this ever-growing problem.

If you’re in the Financial Services Industry, you’re even more at risk. According to the National Occupational Mortality Surveillance, financial services workers are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than the national average.

Linette Lopez, writing for Business Insider, says, “The personality of the alpha male makes getting help hard, and [corporate] management is still struggling to get a comfort level on confronting employees who need help. The alpha male can work all day and party all night while still hauling in massive cash for his firm. Sometimes, they self-treat their stress with drugs and alcohol, or they blow their money on expensive whims. Maybe the culture is finally breaking at the seams”

Julie Cerel, president of the American Association of Suicidology and a professor at the University of Kentucky School of Social Work says, “Men notoriously don’t seek help. And as people are aging and at a place in their lives where the world isn’t looking the way they want, men especially don’t know how to reach out and get help or express that they’re feeling pain.”


Corporate over-achievers are often reluctant to seek help in managing their professional burdens until too late, according to Jenny Gould, executive coach.

“Stress is something that’s very insidious — you can deal with it for quite a long time before you then begin to find yourself burning out from it,” she said. Adding, “Stress is often caused by a lack of control and a lack of support. If you feel like you can’t control certain outcomes and don’t have anybody to discuss your worries and feelings with… that’s potentially a toxic mix.”

A Solution

I never like to discuss a problem without bringing a viable solution. Many executives, business owners, and top-performing salespeople allow their ego to get in the way of their mental, emotional, and physical health. Stress is like the frog-in-boiling-water scenario; the heat increases unnoticeably until it’s too late. I encourage anyone who is feeling the pressure to perform at a consistently high level and on a constant basis to find a competent Executive Coach. Whether you meet with them once a month, or more, you will find they can lower your risk for burnout (along with the mental, emotional, and physical side effects) and suicide.

Beyond just keeping you from such negative effects, fully consider the positive potential of hiring an Executive Coach: Imagine what it would be like to be able to handle more pressure with less stress. Suppose you could be producing more in less time. And, allow yourself to dream of having those elusive things in life you’ve been desiring and working so hard to obtain; Happiness and Satisfaction.

With all that, do you need a financial statistic for the “logic” of hiring an Executive Coach? Companies who hire executive coaches show a mean ROI of 700% on their initial investment.

This post is not a request to hire me as your Executive Coach. This is not an opportunity for you to research my LinkedIn profile. This is information for you to fully consider for your mental, emotional, and physical health in light of the growing trend of suicide among executives, business owners, and salespeople.

Feel free to like, comment and share this post.

+++++++++++++++About Dr. Edward Lewellen++++++++++++++++++++

Dr. Edward Lewellen is an expert in creating methodologies for people to learn to use their mind; their beliefs, thoughts, and behaviors, and put them back in control of their lives and become top-producers. He is a Master Executive Coach, leadership and sales expert, and keynote speaker for some of the largest global organizations.

Author of The 90-Second Mind Manager