March madness is upon us, and this busy time of year is notorious for high volumes of work, stress and burnout. But, anxiety, fatigue, and exhaustion in a leader can have dire consequences for the rest of the team. Here are three ways to prevent burnout before it causes employees to disengage, or before it causes lasting consequences from poor decisions.
First, leaders have to realize that vacations are a temporary solution. To really feel revitalized, make well being an everyday priority. Leaders often dedicate themselves night and day to their work, but preventing burnout starts with taking care: eating well, sleeping enough, and having a well-rounded life. Too often, poor decisions stem from fatigue and irritability. Why should employees trust a leader who barely keeps him or herself together, and looks likely to snap at any moment?
Next, leaders need to share responsibility. This is a way to prevent micromanaging, which disengages employees by making them feel less responsible. It also distributes the workload so that leaders can focus on their own work and know that others can be relied on to share the burden.
Last, leaders need to build confidence in their capabilities. Self-esteem on its own does not make a leader, but when it stems from knowing that the resources and skills needed are at hand, it can be a powerful tool for preventing stress. Being well-informed is the first step to stop losing sleep over decisions. Focusing on getting the facts allows a leader to be confident in what is and is not possible, and to focus his or her attention on workable solutions efficiently and without worry.
Do you know of a leader who has suffered from burnout? How did it affect the team? Tell us in the comments.
If you’re interested in leadership strategies, join us on April 4th at the Ottawa Convention Centre for the first annual Canadian Government Executive Leadership Summit. It will feature panellists who are all exceptional leaders in their fields, who will be speaking about leadership today.