7 Leadership Mindset Hacks to Eliminate Burnout
Oh, we are so driven! So busy! There’s so much to do!
There’s a reason why they call it “burn-out.” You have a fire that burns so bright and so hot. It powers your day, powers your passion, and powers your life. But if that fire is not managed, not fed, not stoked, eventually, the flame dims and goes out.
The result is toxic. Devoid of energy, devoid of any spark–the fire within turns to a toxic mindset.
The ill-effects of leading an organization with toxic mindsets cannot be underestimated. It spills over every facet of one’s life and extinguishes the fire that started it all. The signs are clear: burnout, overwork, stress, frustration, depression, cynicism, detachment and even giving up and quitting altogether.
Leaders have a greater responsibility to create environments where effectiveness, efficiency and productivity thrive. Great leaders use their influence to make an impact on their organization and community. Driven by a toxic mindset makes that impossible.
The findings in the recent Global Leadership Forecast reports:
- Nearly 60% of leaders reported they feel used up at the end of the workday, a strong indicator of burnout.
- 44% of leaders who feel used up at the end of the day expect to change companies in order to advance; 26% plan to leave within the next year.
- Only 20% of surveyed leaders believed they were effective at leading virtually.
Likewise, a recent survey from Indeed.com cited that employee burnout has only gotten worse over the last year: more than half (52%) of respondents are feeling burned out, and more than two-thirds (67%) believe the feeling has worsened over the course of the pandemic.
Business Coach Tammy Johnston shares her story, “I basically started my business and got pregnant. I took 30 hours of maternity leave–so I have always been working.” She explains that one of the reasons she started her business was because she and her husband wanted to have children. “If I want to have a life, be a mom and do business, I have to make this work!”
As a business owner, Johnston advises that it is important to take the time to get a higher view of your business. Managers must avoid falling into the trap of keeping their noses to the grindstone. She says moms are an excellent example of leading with an all-encompassing look at everything. A working mother needs to successfully manage juggling work and family responsibilities.
In a recent interview, Johnston reveals her Seven Mindset Hacks that help leaders thrive.
1. “System is Number One” Mindset
Johnston likened entrepreneurs indulging in frenetic activity, to professional plate spinners. They are unknowingly caught up in spinning plates which they can only keep going for so long. At the end of the day, they feel exhausted and wonder why all their hard work is not getting them anywhere.
There have to be systems in place to help us drive our effectiveness and efficiency. She emphasizes that, “Systems are the number one thing––like I’m a total and complete systems geek! If you do not have a system in your business, you don’t have a business. You have a job that owns you and that’s not a very pleasant place to be.”
2. “Don’t Do Everything” Mindset
Johnston confesses, “Speaking as a constantly recovering perfectionist, this is something I’m always working on because it can be very much a blessing and very much a curse to be really good at what you do. You don’t want to hand it over as you can do it better.”
Check out the 3 Core Indicators You May Be In a Rut
She explains, “If you try to do everything, you’re not going to do a very good job because you simply can’t.” If you don’t trust in people and create accountability you will be relegated to working long hours as you spiral into burnout. Delegate tasks so you can focus on your personal gifts and zones of genius.
View Tammy’s full interview here.
3. “Have a Virtual Board of Directors” Mindset
I am a huge proponent of, “You can’t see the label from inside the jar.” As business operators and leaders we must enlist the help of outsiders to help us see the world outside our businesses. We tend to see inside out, but need help seeing outside in.
In his 1936, groundbreaking book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill espouses the need for leaders to have mastermind groups. Picking people from different walks of life to act as a sounding board to ideas and observations that one might not otherwise see.
TEC Canada (Vistage in the US) is one such group that provides such benefits. By bringing (non-competitive) peers together to talk about both challenges and best practices, leaders gain different perspectives and ideas they don’t see in their forest.
Johnston shared the secret behind the notable success of one of her clients, a leading martial arts studio in the U.S. The business owner divulged that he goes to all sorts of different conventions to get fresh sales and marketing ideas. He once had a light-bulb moment when he attended a dance studio convention and realized that he should be focusing more on attracting both parents and kids than just kids as it’s the parents who are paying for their children’s classes. When he applied this in his marketing strategies, it yielded awesome results.
4. “I’ve got to get this done” Mindset
The essence behind being effective is doing the right things that are bringing you in alignment with your business and personal goals.
For instance, when setting up your full-year calendar, start off by blocking the non-negotiable days like holidays and times with the family–set up your “relaxation window”. Then start focusing on your “production window” where you zero in on what needs to get done each day.
Johnston says that we need to think as long-term as possible. It’s important to set a 5-year destination. Then, break that down into 1-year blocks. “If we don’t pick a direction, we’ll end up bouncing all over the place.”
5. “Ditch the micromanagement” Mindset
Managers have the responsibility to provide a healthy environment where their employees can thrive. Great managers allow their teams to perform at their excellent best while bringing their innovative spirit.
Micromanagers are driven, thinking they are saving time and getting the work done right. But in reality, their constant barrage of corrections, nagging and doing the job themselves create a dysfunctional work environment.
Employees become stifled, lose initiative, disengaged and feel worthless. Creativity and out-of-the-box thinking are quashed for fear of reprisals and corrections.
Unshakable optimist, Simon Sinek once said “There are only two ways to influence human behaviour: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”
6. “Know how your energy flows” Mindset
Johnston schedules her “people time” during the afternoons and evenings when her energy levels are at the optimum. She makes use of her low energy in the mornings and a full day every Monday to prep herself up with exercise and routine paperwork.
No one is productive 100% of the time. We all have our power hours where we get into the zone and perform. We also have hours within our day that become our slog. Schedule around when you know your energy flows. According to Johnston, “Trying to push through things unnecessarily does nothing to help you.”
When you start feeling mentally and physically exhausted, step away from your desk. Go for a walk. Have a nap if you need to. When you come back, you’ll be looking at the work with a fresh perspective.
Creating white spaces in your calendar allows for some emergency phone calls or unforeseen moments that tend to slow you down.
7. “Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness” Mindset
Johnston says that you need to have an “emergency positive reinforcer number” that you call when you’re having a bad day. A mentor, a coach, or a colleague outside your industry can lend you the perspective you need. You need to have those safety valves where you can safely vent.
Find a business coach, a generalist or a specialist who will find out what you need in your journey.
One cautionary that Johnston provides is don’t try to implement the 7 mindset hacks at one time. Current thinking indicates that it takes close to a month for a new habit to form. To avoid further stress and burnout, take on only one or two new mindset habits each month.
Johnston believes, “Business when done right is one of the most beautiful things ever. So in order to help people, you have to be healthy and thriving, not just surviving.”
About Tammy Johnston
Tammy Johnston believes that business, when done right, has the power to make the world a better place for everyone. The first requirement for a business to be able to have a positive impact in the world is that they stay in business.
In order for small businesses to survive and thrive, they need to be educated and supported throughout their journey. The vast majority of entrepreneurs have to learn the hard way through years of hard work and making a lot of painful and expensive mistakes. Tammy has been teaching and working with solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners for close to two decades to help them succeed with less grief and more energy and more profit. She believes in practical, no-nonsense advice that is tailored to the client.
Get a Complimentary solopreneur assessment at: https://ksabusiness.ca/gift/