I’ve stolen the title of this blog post from the book by Tony Schwartz, and I really recommend that you read it.
Because…it’s time for a wake-up call.
The current model of work in which people are treated as machines that should be able to perform at top speed for extraordinarily long hours, be able to manage the overwhelming complexity of work, be always accessible, and operate well in often toxic workplaces – is broken.
Burnout and inhuman treatment at work have been front and center in my coaching practice this year. It’s been bad for a while, but this year nearly everyone I’ve worked with said these things at least in one of their sessions:
- “I can’t manage this workload anymore”
- “I’m completely overwhelmed.”
- “All I can do is to keep things from falling apart– forget about creativity or time for strategic thinking.”
- “I can’t manage the demands of this job anymore, and my boss just won’t listen. I think the best thing is to admit defeat and quit.”
- “I think I’m burning out.”
If you are a leader who leads with compassion and who has people’s trust, you will have heard these things, too.
But if you are one of those leaders who are complicit in this working culture, all you will get is a resignation letter and your team will keep bleeding the best talent.
If you want to feel better yourself, and if you want to help your people, watch out for the behavioral alarm signals represented by @thepresentpsychologist in this infographic.
Seeing it like this was a reality check for me. And thanks to my friend and collaborator Tammy Dunnett who shared this infographic with me, I realized that I’m on a way to burnout myself, together with the many high-achievers that I work with.
So I’m going to take corrective measures immediately, and I will be working with my clients to help them do this as well.
But here is what I know: it is relatively easy for me to make immediate changes because I am in charge of my calendar and my workload, but it is going to be much harder for my clients and friends who work in the corporate world.
Too many companies pay lip service to the notion that “people are our greatest asset”. Too many companies behave like it is normal to expect people to run a marathon in a sprint mode.
But….. “for better and for worse, we’ve cocreated the world in which we work. Our complicity begins, ironically, with how we treat ourselves.
We tolerate extraordinary disconnects in our own lives, even in areas we plainly have the power to influence. We take too little responsibility for addressing our core needs, and we dissipate too much energy in blame, complaint, and finger-pointing. We fail to take care of ourselves even though the consequence is that we end up undermining our health, happiness, and productivity.
We don’t spend enough time—truly engaged time—with those we say we love most and who love us most, even though we feel guilty when we don’t, and we return to work more energized when we do.
We find ourselves getting frustrated, irritable, and anxious as the pressures rise, even though we instinctively recognize that negative emotions interfere with clear thinking and good decision making and demoralize those we lead and manage.”
I leave you with this quote from “The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working” and I hope this blog post will help you, or someone in your team, to get out of the downward spiral into burnout.
If you need help, contact me directly. And if you want to become a leader who leads with compassion and creates the best results by making sure that the people you lead are happy, motivated, resilient and healthy, join the Respected Leader Program restarting in January. Only 10 places are available to make sure that you get my full attention and the best service possible.
With leadership greetings,
More Resources For You:
Get my free eGuide “Prevent Burnout: Know The Impact of Stress on Your Mind, Body and Beahavior” available on this website under Free Resources.
Or get the free resources about mental health in the workplace by Christine Burych who is an expert in helping leaders create mentally healthy workplaces.