Burnout as a Leader: How to Fix it

You may be a great leader. You stay fit at work, both physically and mentally, and lead others to being the best people they can be. However, just because you’re great at leading doesn’t mean you’re more than human. Like any human, you’re going to have your off days. 

But what happens when those off times are more than just a few days? You may not feel as motivated to lead as much as you used to, and you don’t know why. It may be burnout. 


This is when you’re no longer feeling motivated to succeed. Maybe it’s due to not accomplishing everything you want, or because the work you do is repetitive. No matter how enthusiastic you are to lead, if you feel too burnt out, you may suffer from quite a few consequences. 

When you feel burnt out, you may feel cynical, exhausted, and less professional. No matter how much you try to keep it together, you’re still having problems doing so. Burnout can not only be from your job, but from your entire lifestyle as well. 

Symptoms of Burnout 

Burnout isn’t a psychological disorder yet, but it still has quite a few signs and symptoms. Here are a few of them. 

  • You may just feel tired. If you’re a sleepless leader, it could be that catching up to you, but even those who sleep like babies can still have burnout. You may feel emotionally exhausted and physically tired as well. You may have that drained feeling when you get home, or during your job. 
  • Your performance isn’t what it used to be. Again, everyone is going to have their off days at work, and an occasional hiccup shouldn’t be a concern. However, if that off day is an off week, this could be a problem. Maybe you don’t sound as enthusiastic, or your solutions aren’t as creative. Either way, you feel like something is wrong, but you may not know how to fix it. 
  • You just feel removed from your job. You may feel like you don’t belong here, and this may make it difficult to perform. In cases like these, it’s important to take an honest look at yourself. 

How to Cope with Burnout 

  1. Admit to It 

Some people, especially leaders, don’t want to admit that anything is wrong, especially if they have a team to lead. However, ignoring it is just going to make it worse. A good leader should open up about their problems, even if it’s to themselves. Don’t let burnout hang over you; admitting you have a problem is always the first step.

  1. Think of the Cause 

Burnout sometimes doesn’t have a singular cause and may be a combination of a few different reasons. With that said, you should always take a step back and write down some reasons you may think burnout is happening. For some, it may be because the work isn’t too interesting. For others, it may be a problem with the family. Figuring out the causes is another important step, one that you may need a little help with. 

  1. It’s Not an Easy Fix 

Some people may think that burnout is an easy fix, but it’s not. Taking a little vacation may relieve the symptoms a little bit, but if you haven’t fixed the causes, your relief may not be for very long. The point is that burnout requires much more care than your average problem. 

  1. Who Else is Burnt Out?

If you’re leading, are the people you lead feeling this as well? Why not have a meeting to discuss each other’s mental health? Be entirely open and make sure that everyone feels happy and ready to open up about their feelings. Make sure to be empathetic when you’re discussing burnout with your peers. 

Seek Treatment 

Finally, any form of burnout should be treated. Sometimes, this may involve making changes to your business or management. Other times, it may involve personal changes at home. 

Either way, it can be a challenge for you to figure out how to treat yourself. Sometimes, you know the causes, but may not know the solutions. In a case like that, seeking help is the solution. Therapy can help by:

  • Giving you some definitive reasons for why you’re feeling this way. It can sometimes be a challenge to gather all of the reasons, and a therapist can help you find which reasons are leading to your burnout. 
  • Creating a plan to change yourself. Burnout can be due to quite a few reasons, so you need a cogent plant to tackle those reasons one by one. A therapist can help make that plan and keep you accountable as you make your journey towards that plan. 
  • Preventing it in the future. If you don’t feel burnt out anymore, you should make sure you don’t feel these emotions again. A therapist can help with that as well. 

Burnout happens to the best of us, so don’t feel ashamed if you have it. Instead, think of ways to tackle it like a true leader. 

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.