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One Thing Leaders Can Do To Prevent Burnout

We have a global pandemic crisis.

I am not talking about Covid-19. I’m taking about a leadership pandemic.

I’m talking about leaders who are worn out, broken down, beaten up, emotionally spent, physically sick, mentally strained, and ready to quit.

It’s a global leadership burnout pandemic.

There are no masking requirements, quarantine measures, or social distancing measures that can solve this situation.

The bad news is there is no vaccine for this pandemic.

The good news is a treatment exists.

This treatment is not a global directive, but an individual choice.

It is regenerative.

It builds resilience.

It creates vitality.

It reshapes burnout and allows for rejuvenation.

Before I tell you about this treatment, it is imperative I go through a brief version of the terms and conditions first.

(1) Leaders who elect this individual treatment must recognize it is their own choice and even though the outcomes are brilliant and always worth the effort, the journey can get thorny and discouraging.

(2) Leaders who choose to embark on this journey will never reach a final destination, but will experience incredible stops along the way.

(3) This choice has life-long impacts, which will affect all aspects of the leader’s life, including some painful, but necessary and ultimately magnificent, results.

Ok, no more drawing this out. The treatment is character building.

Before you click off this post, I ask for 30 more seconds (four more sentences, to be exact).

The crux of burnout is emptiness.

If there is no more fuel, there is nothing left to burn, hence burnout.

Seeing challenges as character building gives the mind a positive view that provides fuel, rather than seeing challenges as impenetrable barriers that lap up remaining fuel with alarming speed.

Character carries you when capability can’t.

The choice to look for the character building opportunities in challenges changes how we behave. If our behaviors stem from a character-building mindset, we are less likely to burnout and have the ability to set clear boundaries and goals.

It’s in the research, too. This study ( shows that character can potentially mitigate burnout in medical students.

Even if we never went through medical school, we can agree there are many challenges associated with that journey, just like leadership.

Building character is a choice to be WITH. To be with your team, to be with your colleagues, and to be with yourself.

Choose to build your character. Choose to be WITH.


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