Did you hear this summer that the World Health Organization included burn-out as an occupational phenomenon that has factors influencing health status and influences the frequency of contacting health services?
WHO defines burn-out as a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
- Reduced professional efficacy.
When I read this definition, I think of the Corporate Exhausted Hero. That leader that tries to take it all on as an individual contributor, a manager, and a leader. They are focused on getting tasks completed themselves, while also trying to pull themselves up to the big picture to build a strategy for the future. They try to keep their team happy but rarely can focus more than a week or two into the future.
Burn-out will continue to drive turnover in corporate America, especially with these Exhausted Heros. As the Exhausted Hero continues to take on more work, takes less vacation, and works longer hours, their burn-out becomes overwhelming and these high potential employees will continue to be faced with the choice to leave or just try to hold on.
Exhausted Heros need to focus on elevating to a Strategic Manager. By focusing on these core skills, they can pull themselves from the brink of burn-out:
- Create a Vision: This forward thinking skill allows both the leader and the team a roadmap to the future that sidesteps major roadblocks.
- Influencing Others: By identifying who needs to be aligned with the plan and take intentional steps to convince them to get onboard, leaders can eliminate additional roadblocks and keep the work going
- Leading Change: By staying ahead on the change curve, leaders can communicate to the team, leadership, and key partners where projects are in the process of change. If people understand where they are and where they are going, change is way less daunting!
- Coaching & Delegating: Strategic Managers pass ALL individual contributor work to the individual contributors through delegating projects and tasks, and by coaching their teams to success.
Many Exhausted Heros struggle elevating to Strategic Manager on their own. If you are an Exhausted Hero or manage an Exhausted Hero, consider hiring a Leadership Coach or building a Customized Leadership Development Program.