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Preventing Leadership Fatigue and Burn Out

Lessons for Leaders

Release Date: 06/23/2020

Celebrating 100 Episodes show art Celebrating 100 Episodes

Lessons for Leaders

Welcome to Lessons for Leaders.  Can you believe it’s episode 100? The goal has always been to share lessons, learnings, tips and advice and even when things got tough with it, I’ve enjoyed it more and I’m proud to be able to say I got to 100. Many of my regular listeners will know that my girls are the reason I do what I do and my eldest girl is about to make me a Granny next month so it seems like a good time to pause the episodes for a while. This last one is a very special episode, with my other amazing girl joining me at the mic to ask some of the questions you, my listeners...

How to Persuade Leaders to Invest in Wellbeing show art How to Persuade Leaders to Invest in Wellbeing

Lessons for Leaders

This week I'm sharing top tips and conversations that I have frequently with people in organisations to help them know how to persuade leaders to invest in wellbeing. We're covering: What to do to persuade your leaders The 3 R’s that I like to go with organisations I work with. Why we need to look at revenue in different ways and I dive into specifics here to give you a head start. How to highlight the risks to an organisation Why it’s important to include reputation in this persuasive detail too. It’s easy to say wellbeing can help to reverse employee burnout and reduce stress,...

Why a Good Leader Will Give Teams Autonomy show art Why a Good Leader Will Give Teams Autonomy

Lessons for Leaders

This week I'm joined by Gemma Woodward who is People & Culture Manager for Netsells in York.  We are talking about leadership and autonomy.  Listen in for: What are the benefits of allowing autonomy. How leaders can encourage autonomy in their teams. Where leaders get it wrong with a top down leadership and how it can affect their people and the organisation what's one key thing that people should remember about autonomy   Key comments and take-aways A top down leadership can create a fear of coming forward and fear of making mistake, their ideas and decisions might...

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Lessons for Leaders

What on earth is back to the floor? I start with that and why I'm covering the subject (it was inspired by my wonderful friend and leader Tina.  So I'm also covering today: Why is it important to know first hand what’s happening on your shop floor Some real life examples and stories of how back to floor worked, and how it didn’t One really, really important question to ask yourself   I share stories from my experience in corporate and Tina's feedback too to give real life examples - some are funny, some are lovely, one is a little shocking! Here's one of the key things .......

Why it's Worth Investing in Stress Awareness show art Why it's Worth Investing in Stress Awareness

Lessons for Leaders

This week on the podcast I'm talking about Why it's Worth Investing in Stress Awareness. I wonder if you've ever had a time when you've ever felt stressed and known what would help ... but not bothered to do it???? This is just one of the reason why I'm sharing information that can help you make a decision on whether it's worth investing in stress awareness.   I cover:   What is causing Stress in the workplace? How Will Stress Awareness Help Your Organisation? How Does Stress Impact Productivity? Is it Worth Investing in Stress Awareness? Ways I can support you or help for you to do...

Lockdown Lessons for Leaders show art Lockdown Lessons for Leaders

Lessons for Leaders

Two years since the UK locked down from the Covid 19 virus.  In fact pretty much the world locked down.   It changed so many things About how we live How we work Connections & communication Wellbeing – what were thankful for – fear / perspective Resilience   Have you looked back at those pictures from cities that were empty and streets that were bare?  I know I have.  There were bits that I loved, bits I didn’t love. There was a significant difference in how people viewed the lockdown.  Some loved it.  Some hated it.  For some it was...

Supporting Female Leaders show art Supporting Female Leaders

Lessons for Leaders

In honour of International Women's Day, I’m here to give ideas of ways that you can support women in leadership roles.  There can be a number of reasons why there are less women than men in leadership roles.   Data from the House of Commons found that companies led by women outperform those led by men - but despite this, we're very far from achieving gender parity in the workplace I share information about  Break the Bias Unconscious biases, opinions, beliefs are formed early in our childhood.  We learn these from family, friends, people of authority that are social...

Why Empathy is Crucial for Great Leaders show art Why Empathy is Crucial for Great Leaders

Lessons for Leaders

This week I'm talking to you about why empathy is crucial for great leaders.   I cover : What is empathy Why does it matter in leadership Whether empathy can be learned  How it can improve performance, create connections and What you can do to be more empathic.   Why empathy is crucial for great leaders and what is empathy anyway? Empathy is the ability to experience and relate to the thoughts, emotions, or experience of others.  So it's about truly feeling what the other person is feeling. You know I often talk about how we don't 'do' emotions.  But empathy is about...

Easy Ways to Say No show art Easy Ways to Say No

Lessons for Leaders

Do you find it difficult to say no to people?  Perhaps it means you end up being busy, stressed, over-committed?  Often when we struggle to say no to people it can leave us feeling used, put up-on, juggling too many things.  Are you the one who ends up working late because you’ve said yes to others, yet you’re the one with more to do?   This episode is for you where I talk about   Say no and establish healthy boundaries How to handle the fear, stress, worry and guilt The surprising reason that saying no is good for you Key phrases that you can begin to use to get...

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This week I'm sharing tips and information about De-stigmatizing Mental Health.  I share key points on:   Why mental health is stigmatized How stigma brings shame and what that looks like How it will impact on your organisation Good news on the wider impact of investing in destigmatizing Key things that you can do and examples too   When we prevent people talking openly and transparently we also prevent those who need it from having support.    Stigma brings shame.  Listen in for information about how people respond then feel ashamed and what the impact will be...

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Leaders often thrive with a challenge, however when the challenge is a prolonged one, such as this period of the Covid-19 crisis, leaders need to ensure that they are able to sustain the test of time.

Prioritising mental wellbeing is just as essential for leaders in a time of crisis as it is for your employees.

Failure to look after one’s self can result in fatigue and burnout.

Burnout characterised by “emotional exhaustion” and usually attributed to the professional role you have, therefore, maintaining work life balance is vital to prevent burnout.

The difficulty though is that often fatigue and burn out happen because leader DO love their jobs, or feel a sense of responsibility or struggle to delegate – in fact there can be a host of differing factors.  Because everyone is different. 

The important thing is to ensure that you know what affects you and, more helpfully that you’re able to spot the signs in your leadership team too.

There are things you can do to ensure that you implement a balance that supports your performance (so it isn’t about working less necessarily) but working and living in way that supports your overall professional and personal wellbeing.


Spot the Signs

There can be a number of signs – IBS and gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, sleep issues, problems with immune system and even just getting ill really frequently – more frequently than the next person.

Admitting that there is a problem can be a tough one for the leaders I work with.  Often they come to me because they know they are struggling, they can’t quite pinpoint a specific area where the struggle starts or the look for one key area.  They also come to me because they don’t want to admit to their CEO or Board that they are struggling. 

The thing is that often it’s not just one thing.  It also doesn’t mean that you have to stop work or do less – as we’ll discuss – it’s often about doing things differently.

The key is to acknowledge that there is an issue and once you’ve spotted the signs then you’re half way to solving the problem (as long as you do something about it).

Do Away with Decision Fatigue

Decision fatigue happens when there is a prolonged situation that is stressful and demanding.  The thinking part of your brain, the prefrontal cortex can become overloaded and worn out – essentially.  What that means is that basic functions and decisions, judgements and strategic thinking are clouded and it’s really difficult to make a decision.  A leader who is under pressure to make difficult or severe decisions each and every day can find they have increased difficulty doing so.  Even simple decisions such a what to wear, what to eat can become a problem. 

Barack Obama apparently only wore blue and black suits so that he reduced the decisions he had to make there and keep his brain free for the bigger decisions.  Have you ever found you get the best ideas or decisions in the shower or when you’re out for a walk?  That’s because you’ve taken that mental step back and given your brain chance to rest, recover and then it’s able to decide. 

This is why I teach all my client’s ways to take those brain breaks, with breathing techniques or relaxation or even just adding in healthy restorative time as I’ll talk about in a moment.   By creating a brain break, you’re better able to make decisions.


Address the Stress

Making a plan to address the stress and looking at any underlying cause for the stress is key.  Leaders usually like this idea because they are goal and action focussed.  However the tough stuff starts when they have to look at themselves!!

Looking at personal and professional activities and areas where there is struggle, things that are missing, what needs more, what needs less enables you to make a plan.

This is where we look at adding in healthy restorative aspects and for this we are talking about looking at different areas of your life.  Physical, emotional, mental, sometimes spiritual.  This includes, social aspects – where is there fun in your life?  What support do you have – is there one friend or a group of friends where you can be totally honest and say today was a nightmare?

Are you eating well or grabbing stuff on the go and skipping meals?

What’s your sleep pattern like – or are you awake at 4 in the morning?

Do you take time off – properly?

One chap I worked with got told by his family that they knew he wasn’t listening to their conversations to they used to add in random crazy sentences, like there’s a pink elephant coming now and see if he noticed.  They got lots of fun and hilarity from it – he missed it all.


When you’ve assessed all this, you need to establish some goals and address the gaps and blocks.  I really would advise here, that you have some accountability strategies to help make the plan really effective and get the results you want much more quickly.


Master Your Mindset

I always say, you can’t control what happens on the outside, but you can control what happens on the inside.  By that, I mean that you are in control of what you think, how you think and that impacts how you respond.  So working on your mindset means you can make the changes that help you work on any fatigue and prevent burnout.

Do you need to rethink delegation?  Sometimes in coaching we look at what’s stopping someone from delegating – it can be personal for everyone, but it might things like lack of trust, not wanting to be let down, thinking it’s easier to do it myself.  You don’t need to a superhero.  I often ask ‘ what’s the best thing you can do to develop your team” and the answer is often “give them responsibility”  So then I ask when are you going to do that.

It might be that you need to look at boundaries.  My favourite subject and need to say no to things instead of yes… or yes instead of no (particularly if someone says, shall I look at this).

What will happen if you’re not there?  If you’re doing everything yourself then things will fail anyway.  If you allow others in to support and work with you then you’re setting yourself up for wins.

There’s a million ways we can change our mindset – and exploring what’s going on with yours is the first step.  One client is never the same as the next, that’s why I LOVE working with leaders.


The combination of the above has wide reaching effects on their team and often the entire company, because it changes their approaches and they are more likely to promote a good work life balance across the organisation too.  Because they see the value in how work life balance enhances productivity and performance, rather than being something that is about working less.


I've been working with a number of organisations to successfully deliver virtual trainings on stress management, work life balance, boundaries and resilience - so contact me to discuss the needs of your organisation now or book direct into my diary for a complementary discussion with this link



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