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Dr. Leahy.Often reinforcing the achievement cycle are colleagues who share the view that large bonuses,medical breakthroughs or great works of journalism are the only important measures of worth.One solution -- simpler in theory than execution -- is to broaden one's circle of friends andcolleagues.One of the biggest fears for holders of respected positions is the potential loss of publicesteem. Therapists say the high achiever often holds self-defeating double standards, feelingsympathetic toward the unemployed while assuming that unemployment would bring him onlyshame.For Michael Precker, that loss of status wasn't as grim as the fear of it. A veteran foreigncorrespondent and editor for the Dallas Morning News, Mr. Precker took a buyout in 2006 andnow manages a high-end strip club. "I really wondered how it would feel to sever that link --Michael Precker of the Dallas Morning News," he says. "But it has been easier than I thought. Ifeel lucky." Likewise, Mr. Wenske is working happily as a senior community-affairs adviser for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.To disassociate identity from professional status, therapists recommend taking pride incharacteristics that can't be stripped away -- virtue, integrity, honesty, generosity. They alsorecommend investing more time and pride in relationships with family, friends and community.Of course, obsessive attention to work can breed success. But therapists say that addingsome balance tends to help rather than hurt performance, in part by reducing pressure.For 18 years, Steve Roman was the public-relations director of the largest bank in Arizona; hisforced buyout in 2000 made news in the local papers. "That separation was unsettling.Everybody knew me as Steven Roman of Bank One," he says.His new career at a Phoenix communications firm is less visible, but gratifying because he is afounder and owner. More gratifying yet, he says, is the status his two children have grantedhim. "I love saying, 'I'm Kyle Roman's dad. I'm Katie Roman's dad.' "
Melinda Beck is on assignment.
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Face It: You're Addicted to Success - WSJ.comhttp://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB123423234983566171-lMyQjAx...2 of 32/9/2009 10:31 PM