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Is There Hope for the Jaded Leader? Snuff Out Executive Burnout

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  • The nature of the 21st century executive is to cram 24+ hours of intentional activities into a 24 hour day. So many organizations are doubling down on command and control, birthing leaders who run on a combination of caffeine, adrenaline and half-functioning exhaustion. As a leader, this behavior is magnified because you are often faced with arduous tasks that require your undivided time and attention. It is not always easy to manage, but it’s not your duty to skip lunch, forgo fitness, opting for long hours of work by night and superhero daily office catastrophe rescues by day. Leading well is going to require your very best. Jaded executives just lead to more challenges, more turnover and more burnout throughout the team.

Executive burnout is when a leader starts to feel resentful, impatient, dissatisfied, and stressed out about the prospect of tackling their work. It shows up when the commitment to leading a team and the commitment to self-leadership gets a bit too difficult to juggle.

Executive burnout can manifest through physical ailments like headaches, back pain, an uneasy stomach, or even changes in demeanor, and/or sleep and eating patterns. You might always feel exhausted. You might even consider leaving a job that you actually enjoy. In this state, you are not able to function at your best, much less lead in your full awareness and mental capacity.

Executive burnout can be caused by a number of factors:

  • working in an unorganized, high stress environment
  • work that causes boredom
  • a lack of clarity around expectations
  • inter-personal sabotage of micro-managing your very capable team
  • working too hard for way too long

How to Recover from Executive Burnout

For the exhausted executive, there is hope. We know that a leader who is firing on all cylinders is one of the top ways to position a team for growth. If executives can avoid or overcome executive burnout, they can remain agile and capable—ready to increase their capacity to lead and motivated to succeed.

Here are a four ways that you can recover from executive burnout:

1. Establish personal rules for time management/work – Put systems in place to organize and manage your responsibilities at work. This is a game changer that will allow you to work more efficiently. Create a schedule and stick to it, include your work hours and allot yourself some adequate down time. Delegate responsibilities and trust your team members to execute the plans effectively.

2. Commit to self care and having a work/life balance – Take care of yourself first. This is not a selfish concept. You can only be a great leader that achieves goals if you are healthy and happy. Eat right, exercise, find a hobby or some kind of enjoyable, stress reducing activity outside of work.

3. Say No & Set Boundaries – It is ok to say no when you have reached your capacity. By saying no, you set boundaries and command the understanding that your time is valuable. You also ensure that you are giving yourself the time and space to lead effectively

4. Get an Executive Coach – If you are experiencing burnout, and it has become a vicious cycle that you can’t seem to end, you should consider a leadership coach. This is where Scott Hackman Ventures comes in. We can provide you with the support, mentorship, accountability and effective tools needed to avoid the pitfall of executive burnout so that you can return to the happiness and fulfillment that your career and leadership can bring.

Are you looking for a leadership coach?

We’ll help you build on your self-awareness, social-regulation, and the skills you’ll need to sustain your growth through transition.

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Scott Hackman is the Founder and CVO of Scott Hackman Ventures. He has over 15 years of experience in business advising, coaching, and leading growth through transitions.
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