It was a four-pizza all-nighter for the executive team. Jesse, the CEO, left the meeting exhausted. Again.
When the company was a startup, Jesse was full of life and inspired everyone to bring their best to work every day. Now he had nothing left to give (except occasional tantrums). And yet, the company desperately needed his leadership as they had some huge deals brewing. Again.
Fatigued, sapped, running on fumes. Knackered, tapped out, toast. Choose your word, they all mean you're depleted. The short-term fix requires immediate and compassionate self-care coupled with very explicit communications that effectively manage expectations. The longer-term solution goes deeper into your organizational culture and choosing to lead with love.
Are you often depleted?
Is burn-out common in your company?
Are you willing for it to be different?
6 Amare Ways to Deal With Being Depleted
1. Triage and treat, now. Accept that your level of depletion urgently needs attention (don't require a heart attack to take action!). First, list five things that instantly fill you up, e.g. music, nature, massages, sleep, etc. Now commit to changing your schedule for this and next week to make time for those rejuvenating activities. Schedule them. Cancel everything else that is not absolutely critical, saying you have a personal health issue that needs attention. (You can explain more later; or not).
2. Communicate super-clearly. Let your team know you've been pushing too hard, and you need a break now. Don't add drama, just state the simple truth. Reassure them you'll continue to attend to the most urgent matters, and fully expect to be back at the top of your game. And that you see that some things need to change so everyone can be healthy and give their best over the long haul.
3. Ask yourself, what's the payoff? Ask yourself what psychological benefit you get from being so busy that you consistently neglect your own well-being. Ask what you might be afraid would happen if you slowed down. Ask your team these questions, too. Then brainstorm what other healthier ways you might meet those same needs.
4. Explore alternatives. Take five minutes to allow yourself to imagine different ways of being a leader that are both productive and sustainable. Really see it, see you. If objections or resistance come up, just notice and keep envisioning positive alternatives.
5. Go for deeper change. Once you've regained some energy, paint a mental picture of how you will lead moving forward. See yourself as being both highly effective and driven, and vitally healthy and balanced. Now consider what three things need to change in your organizational culture to support that vision.
6. Be a love-powered leader. Learn about how and why you can lead with love to optimize your organization's well-being and performance, which will support your well-being too. Consider implementing the love-based Amare Way business framework you can read about here.
You know the flight attendant's announcement about putting your oxygen mask on first so you can then take care of others? The same principle applies here. Don't allow yourself to get or stay depleted. Be good to yourself so you can tap into your greatness to fuel your company's long-term success. It's a highly profitable act of love.