Leadership Without Burnout: A How-To Guide

I read a post last week that 67% of full-time employees experience burnout. 67%!! That’s such a high number.

And if it’s that high for regular employees, it makes me wonder what the statistic must be for managers and CEOs. It made me think back to the days when I felt burnt out all the time as a boss, manager, and mother of three. I would go to bed every night wondering, “Is this all there is to life?”

I’m happy to say that I am no longer in that space. It took many months of digging deep, being honest with how I got myself in the position I was in, and committing to eliminating or changing thought patterns that weren’t serving me.

Does that sound like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo? I promise you, it isn’t! Here’s how you can #ditchtheburnout and become a more effective leader in the process:

Recognize Your “Story.” Learn to identify your internal dialogue surrounding why you feel like you have to hustle in the first place. When we’re pushing and driving for something (masculine energy), it’s because we’re fearing something. We’re afraid we’re not good enough (“Once I achieve x, then I will have proven myself”). We’re in a scarcity mindset (“I have to stake my claim before someone else does”). Often when we take a breath and stop trying so hard, the things we desire in life will start coming to us. But we have to be open to receiving; otherwise, we won’t recognize the gifts coming our way.

Open Up! Change doesn’t happen overnight. Being vulnerable is not something that’s often taught or valued in our culture, especially when it comes to leading and managing people. You might not even know what “being vulnerable” as a leader actually looks like. Honestly, it’s sometimes as easy as admitting that you don’t have the answer. It’s time to start dismantling the lie of, “I have to have it all figured out or I’m not a good leader.” Start allowing yourself to not have all the answers. Start practicing small ways of being vulnerable with people you trust.

Get Out of the Way. Leaders, it’s time. Let your team contribute to you! Ask good questions and let your team come up with the answers. Often when we try to do everything ourselves, we are denying others around us the opportunity to step up. The fact is, good leadership means empowering those around us to also take ownership. By giving your cohort time and space to come up with the answers, you may be pleasantly surprised at how they start showing up. It can be the hardest thing to do, but get out of the way and let others shine. All of the value doesn’t have to come from you (and, in fact, it can’t all come from you, as I discussed last week).

Stop with the “Have-to’s.” For this last one, I want you to take out a sheet of paper and make two columns. In the first column, list all the things on the to-do list for your business. (i.e. “Find an accountant.”) Then take a few moments to sit and think about why that item is on your to-do list. I want you to get really clear on it. (Why do you need an accountant?) Then I want you to rewrite your need from Column 1 as a “get-to” statement. (i.e. “I get to trust an expert with my financial information in order to free up time for myself to do x, y, z.”) This is a key shift in perspective. “I have to hustle and get clients in” becomes “I get to attract, and I’m excited about attracting, this client.” “I have to meet this deadline” becomes “I get to trust and support my team as they tackle this project.”

Do you see what just happened? You shifted from Hustle Mode to Receiving Mode. If you have to be responsible for it all, you’re not in a place of receiving. And if you’re in a state of driving and pushing all the time, you’re going to burnout. It’s not a matter of if, but when.

As leaders, how can we take steps to help our employees with burnout if we haven't recognized and dealt with our own? It’s time to #StoptheHustle and start noticing and saying “yes” to the gifts around you!

#ditchtheburnout #YourStoryYourChoice #leadership #StoptheHustle

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