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How to Overcome Burnout As a Leader

balance better boss burnout work-life balance Dec 19, 2022

As the world continues to return to normal, workplaces are seeing leaders jump back in full-force. While passion and drive are always a good thing, sometimes they can also lead to one of the most dreaded terms in leadership: burnout.

Burnout is both physical and emotional and can happen when our teams strive to meet goals but don’t attain them as a result of long-term stress.

It can happen to anyone, but it’s especially important for leaders to be able to identify burnout within themselves so they can overcome it and not let burnout extend to employees and the organization as a whole.

So how can you overcome burnout as a leader?


1. Balance

Leaders are some of the most committed employees on the planet. Going above and beyond, staying late and taking on projects that aren’t always in their purview is commonplace. But balance is key to keeping burnout at bay.

Balance doesn’t mean that all time is equal, it just means that there is the right amount of time for what you need to maintain energy and focus.

Part of having balance means setting solid clock-out times, so you leave your work at the office. It means not answering business emails or phone calls while at home (extenuating circumstances excluded). 


2. Say No

It doesn’t take someone who has been a leader for decades to know that people in higher positions often have additional projects and work. And while having more responsibility is part of the job, that doesn’t mean you have to say yes to everything in order to be an effective leader.

In fact, to avoid burnout you have to learn to say no.

It’s better to turn down a project you feel might stretch you too thin or take a toll on your mental health than to accept it and quit halfway. 

Also, for every YES you are saying NO to something else anyway, so be intentional with your nos!

In the end, saying no is about developing healthy boundaries that not only keep burnout in check, but also help you to lead from your strengths, not from a place of stress.


3. Recognize the Signs of Burnout

Sure, it sounds easy to identify someone who’s pulling out their hair from anxiety, but burnout doesn’t always express itself outwardly. That’s why it’s important to know the signs so you can not only keep yourself accountable, but so you can serve as an empathetic leader and help your employees to overcome it too.

Burnout can exhibit itself by a lack of motivation, frequent negative outlook on projects, exhaustion and low job productivity. Keep an eye on your staff with frequent check-ins and perform internal-self checks to make sure you are avoiding burnout.


4. Physically Respond

The act of physically moving your body can also combat burnout.

Sometimes, it’s simply an issue of needing more sleep or setting regular times to get up from your desk to separate yourself from a frustrating task.

For me, it’s lots of time on the Pelaton!

Setting up a mindfulness activity can also help. Whether it’s journaling, praying or meditating, deliberate acts like these can help take your mind off the situations causing burnout and put you in a better frame of mind to tackle the day.


Learning to identify burnout both in yourself and your employees is key to being an effective leader and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Do you want support within your organization? Send us a message by clicking here so we can show you how Talent Magnet Institute can help!

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