Some years ago, I had to deal with one of my most interesting cases in coaching. A senior executive who was doing fairly well in his career suddenly began to show symptoms of disinterest in his work. His colleagues and team members found him very easily irritable, small setbacks which he would ordinarily take in his stride became triggers for strong reactions. He became withdrawn and subject to wild swings in mood. One moment he was highly energized and after some time went into a slump.
When I began talking to him, I could sense that his mind was clogged with anxieties about the future. A few events that might have disturbed him included: the distinct possibility of his not getting a promotion to higher responsibilities, the “danger” of being superseded by another person who was younger than him. This led to his losing trust in others and consequently spoiling relationships with a few important people in his organization. This had never happened before.