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Leaders are Crispy, Too.
Do any of these statistics from DDI’s Global Leadership Forecast 2021 apply to you as a leader:
- 60% of leaders feel “used up” at the end of every workday
- Of the leaders who report feeling burnt out, 44% stated that they feel they would need to change companies to advance while 26% claimed they expect to leave within the year (four times the rate for leaders who didn’t report feelings of burnout)
- 80% of the leaders surveyed reported feeling ineffective at leading virtually
Much of the press continues to talk about employee burnout without really acknowledging the particular pain points of leaders, specifically. As these statistics show, burnout isn’t only affecting employees.
If you are finding yourself in or approaching burnout, here are some things you can do:
- Examine timelines and deadlines: Are you (and the team) taking on too much work with too little time? Can timelines, project plans and deadlines be adjusted to give everyone a little more breathing room? Push yourself on this one. We often underestimate how long things take and establish deadlines to please others. Yes, you agreed to completing this project in a month, but does it really need to be done then?
- Set boundaries: Setting boundaries is one of the most often discussed concepts in the last 18 months, in large part because we keep disrespecting the boundaries that are set. As a leader, you need to set an example for your team to manage their burnout but also to help yourself avoid burnout. Don’t look at your mobile device during dinner. Block off “ME” time in your calendar. Avoid reading/sending emails in off-hours. Develop a morning routine that doesn’t involve work.
- Ask for help: If you are struggling, reach out—to HR or well-being professionals, to other leaders, to loved ones. It is not a sign of weakness or a signal that you are a bad leader. Others can commiserate, offer ideas for coping, help you define a path for recovery, and hold you accountable for staying on that path.
As a leader, you are not expected to be super-human—in fact, quite the opposite. Your team will engender tremendous respect for you if you show your vulnerability and work together to create a manageable—or better—working environment.