Avoiding Leadership Burnout in 2021

Zarko Palankov shares some insights and updates on avoiding burnout in leadership in the year to come.

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Now that a new year has begun, many people are starting to feel relieved. At first glance, it would appear that the worst of many stressful causes of the past appear to be coming to an end. Vaccines are being distributed, and people who weathered the storm of job losses are grateful. In addition, Those who managed to avoid being ill or who recovered from illness are feeling relieved. As much as we’d like to admit, however, there is still an open wound that is healing all over the world. As a leader, it’s important to remember that and show your employees empathy, but you mustn’t forget your own needs in the process. 

Technically speaking, there was no magical moment the instant we embraced the new year. While it is true that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we still have a long way to go. The effects of the past year will resonate for many people, either financially, physically, mentally, or all of the above for years to come. As a leader, your primary focus, in addition to your family and loved ones, is ensuring your company’s sustainability. The secret to any good company is its team, so it’s vital to maintain an empathetic and flexible culture so that your company can emerge stronger than ever.

While society dictates that you are the designated rock of support, it is also essential for you to practice self-care. Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests that all humans have levels of need, starting with the most primal and biological, and until those needs are met, we cannot tackle more challenging levels of cognition. The most basic level includes food, shelter, and sleep. If those needs are not met, we cannot obtain the higher levels that require increasingly demanding states of function. Much like the safety advice given to parents in the event of an aircraft emergency, you are no use to your employees if you don’t take care of yourself first.

The human body cannot withstand consistent lack of sleep or a poor diet and be expected to operate at maximum functionality for a sustained period of time. 

There are many ways to find time for yourself. Some people relax with aromatherapy. For others, intense exercise gets the blood and oxygen flowing, which helps them think. Another popular trend is meditation such as mindfulness. Mindfulness is more than just a buzzword in recent years. It has been practiced for centuries as a means of being present and letting oneself be. Practicing mindful meditation requires letting go of all the past ruminating thoughts and worrying thoughts about the future. It is a relaxation tool meant to keep you focused on the present by being aware of every sound and feeling while doing so with a non judgemental eye. 

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