Lately, I've been hearing heard a common theme among many of the senior leaders I coach. They are tired, frustrated, overwhelmed, and overworked. Maybe it’s the time of year, but many of these leaders feel they have little control over how they spend and manage their time since they are regularly responding to “urgent requests” from their executive leadership team. Related: Burned Out? How To Take A Vacation Without Taking A Vacation And, more often than not, these requests are not something they can delegate to their direct reports. As you may be able to understand, they are in fire-fighting mode more often than they want (or need) to be. So, what can you do to stop the feeling of overwhelm, which leads to the tiredness and frustration? Do you stand up to your boss?
A year ago, I made the decision to take early retirement after 33 years of service as a public school teacher and librarian and four years as president of my state teachers’ association. I was only 59 ½ years old and I was in excellent health, but I had come to the realization that I was suffering from a severe case of job burnout. I was mentally and physically exhausted, and I needed a major change in my life in the worst way. Retirement not only seemed like a reasonable option, but it also felt like the only option. After taking six months to fully rest, relax, and recharge, I began to think about going back to work, but I quickly realized that the job hunting landscape had changed drastically since the last time I looked for a job in 1975. It became pretty obvious pretty quickly that I shouldn’t be trying to tackle the search for a job on my own. I needed expert assistance.