How To Lead Through Your Own Work Burnout
Everyone finds work daunting at times. Burnout is a whole other level. Burnout as a leader can be identified as an inactive state. This is especially true for those who are inspirational leaders that draw out the best in others because they have that extra something driving them. The inspirational leader also can lose heart at times but for prolonged periods, this could be burnout.
This week’s series focuses on what to do if you’re a leader, especially an inspirational leader, and are experiencing a loss of drive for your role. I share some practices, ideas and perspectives that can find that drive for your leadership role again.
Loss of inspiration or drive can be a tricky thing to work with and reverse. Getting to the core of it can do wonders which is usually helpful as this type of challenge frequently leaves a person with less energy or motivation to even address this current block…a self-reinforcing negative spiral.
In support of the FREE practice, there are 3 elements to help you get to the core:
- Starting Is A Decision In THIS Moment
- Outcome anticipation is not very valuable
- Do you see reflection or connection?
Really looking closely at your orientation to inspiration, on a small scale, should give you big insights. Once you glimpse this core, you’ll have something to work with instead of waiting for inspiration to just arrive again.
Download your FREE practice here. Start working with the practice daily for a few weeks and you should find some new insights into how inspiration works for you and how to bring it back to your role as a leader.
As a leader, how you carry yourself on a daily basis affects so many other people and how they will perform. This isn’t to say that displaying a confident, supportive, or powerful persona is helpful. Authenticity is still far more important for environment of trust in the long run. Although the exterior appearance is important, when we’re dealing with a loss of inspiration, we’re working with your interior world.
Inspiration comes in many forms for people. For inspirational leadership the forms tend to be more narrow and easier to identify, fortunately. Here are 3 little experiments you can run to help discover your inspirational leadership source is broken:
- Fulfillment partially comes from work
- Fulfillment is also about connection
- Expressing your individuality builds commitment
As you work with these concepts to recapture your inspirational leadership, remember, only partial drive for this work is needed, so don’t wait until you are inspired to start! Lead your own effort back your leadership groove.
Whoa! Hold on there a moment! The world needs leaders so don’t give up too soon, especially if your disinterest is not logical and more motivational in nature. Let’s look a bit deeper so you can make a solid decision with some deeper insights.
If you have spent any time with mindfulness or self-awareness then you likely understand that your perception of the world is highly dependent upon your current worldview. You probably also have discovered that your perception changes upon many factors. So, if you haven’t explored mindfulness yet, this next part might seem strange and perhaps a bit unbelievable. However, with a little honest, self inquiry you might not see it as so strange.
Launching from your perspective of things; in this case a sense of disinterest about your current leadership role. You may be experiencing it as a loss of inspiration specifically but whenever your drive shifts or is lost, knowing whether you are responding to your environment or if you’re creating the environment will give a lot of information on what to do next.
Specifically here, we’re exploring whether people around are reflecting your disinterest in leadership and you being in your current role. Is your disinterest also reflected around you in those you lead and perhaps in others in your life? They may be picking up queues from you and not even realizing it.
However, is there another source of your disinterest? If your drive to be an inspirational leader comes from others responding to you in a positive way, then being aware this is going on will help you. If you don’t see this loop of disinterest, then perhaps something else is going on.
Loss Of Newness
The next place to look is whether your leadership role has lost life and zeal because it has become routine. No doubt, all roles have tedious tasks but typically they aren’t viewed as such unless your attention is on them NOT being what motivates. And that comes into your focus typically when you aren’t getting the fulfillment you want and start scanning your environment for the problem.
So some leaders are awesome stewards of an organization and are a rock of stability. Other leaders transform things. For either case, when the situation switches to one of stewardship or change, and that is opposite of your leadership bent, expect that loss of interest and perhaps resistance will arise if you aren’t aware of your own motivations.
Loss of newness is a particular hallmark of stagnation for leaders who like change and leading a charge into all things change related. If this is your leadership style, then check and see if things have stabilized. If so, celebrate for a job well done! Your inspiration and drive might have to come from somewhere else until your change leadership is needed again.
Misunderstood Not Necessarily Unsupported
Let’s make sure you’re accurately reading what’s going on. There is a possibility that your inspiration is strongly rooted in people resonating with your message, approach or direction. All leaders face times of being the only one out there and trying to get others to follow. Let’s look beyond that normal leadership task to a prolonged loss of follower-ship.
It may be that you getting people on board with you is proving more difficult than you thought. And even beyond that, it may be that people just don’t understand where you’re trying to go. Although just about every leadership book talks about the importance of communication, in this case, clarity of purpose by being easy to follow might bring your inspiration back.
Attention and effort into clear communication logically helps. However, if you have a personal stake in this as well because you’ve equated people following you with your inspirational style, then helping people understand is the issue, not that your inspiration disappeared, per se.
Feels About Right, But Not Quite
So if these ideas feel about right but not quite right for you, perhaps you need further exploration, perhaps even with a guide. Mindfulness and self-awareness will ultimately carry you to where you want to go but may take longer than you desire. The task of recapturing your inspiration may also seem too difficult to invest in the effort. If this speaks to you, then I humbly point to coaching as way to build a temporary support system with guidance until your inspiration is more accessible to you again. Try the most powerful form of coaching to work with ALL of who you are to get you where you want to go – Integral Coaching™. Try 30 days, risk free, with me, a Certified Integral Professional Coach™ by clicking here.
Sometimes you see a leader struggling and not leading the way you know they are capable of. It can even be painful to watch. Now, let’s not stand by idly but instead intervene in a helpful way. This may not be obvious to them in how to resolve their loss of inspirational leadership strength.
Inspirational leaders tend to have bigger swings of energy and emotion if they aren’t aware of their own internal process and source of inspiration. Therefore, your outside, objective view can be helpful. However, delivery of the information in a way they can listen to you and work with it are critical. As you’ll see in the video, there is a fair amount of discernment needed on your part to determine the degree and type of help you are to offer. The 3 types discussed are:
- Offer genuine recognition of their leadership
- Don’t engage in people pleasing with them
- Offer some lighthearted escape and fun
As you see, these are quite different in approach, focus and likely outcome. Hang in there with your struggling, inspirational leader as they have quite a bit of work to do on their own…and it may not be very easy for them.
So you’ve started really exploring your own inspiration in new ways. Are you ready to turn it up a notch while still bringing back some fun? Of course you are!
This is one of those deceptively simple practices. It is also to engage in it and miss the entire point. Ok, well you’ll probably still have fun so all will not be lost no matter how you use the practice. However, to get the most out of this you’ll need to watch very closely what is going on for you and how it works. The more closely you can watch the subtlety of your own flowing inspiration, the more you’ll get out of it.
Download your FREE copy of the practice and start having fun getting your inspirational leadership style up and running again!
All my best,
Russell Lindquist, Founder & Principal
Russell is a Certified Integral Professional Coach™. I help leaders and entrepreneurs break through plateaus, earn more respect and move on to their next level of success. 80% of my clients take on more responsibility with less stress, more success, and half of them get a promotion or earn more money within 6 months of completing their program. www.tessagen.com