Managing Stress to Avoid Burnout

Managing Stress to Avoid Burnout

“There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.”

Henry Kissinger

 Did you know that almost 70% of C-level leaders were considering leaving their jobs in 2022 in order to find a position that better supported their health? The Deloitte survey which included 2100 people from the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia also discovered that 57% of employees outside of management were looking to leave their current positions for similar reasons:  “both employees and the C-suite are struggling to prioritize their well-being—and for most people, work was to blame.” *

Can you relate to that 70% group of leaders? How about your Corporate Family® members—are they contemplating an exit strategy too?

The reality is, as Kissinger perfectly pointed out in the quote above, stressful circumstances are already part of our daily agenda.  But that stress doesn’t have to rule us, and it certainly shouldn’t be allowed to drive anyone to the point of burnout, personally or professionally. And as much as we may long for it, a stress-free environment really isn’t feasible—but learning to manage the stressors of life is within everyone’s realm of possibilities.

Let’s start this stress-management process with three simple steps the team at LEADon® recommends to leaders just like you:

  1. Identify the top 4-5 stressors in your life, then force rank those in order of importance to your success and overall sense of well-being. Make sure you create a list for both your personal and professional life.
  2. Consider practical ways to address these stressors more effectively. Do you need the help of a trusted colleague, friend, or mentor? This individual should be someone who can offer practical solutions for dealing with your challenges less stressfully and, hopefully, more successfully.
  3. Devise an action plan for each of the 4-5 stressors and start implementing those action items over the next 30 days. Perhaps sharing some of your load with others in your various spheres of influence will be part of the steps you need to take.  Be sure to have an accountability partner as you put your action plan to work (perhaps that trusted colleague, friend, or mentor). At the end of this 30 day process, evaluate which stresses improved and why.

In The Leading Edge: 9 Strategies for Improving Internal and Intentional Leadership (Wilke & Wilke, 2019), there are some very specific strategies anyone aspiring for exceptional leadership should consider.  These are also action items that will greatly increase your ability to handle stress:

  1. Exercise! Take the stairs instead of the elevator; walk to that meeting instead of driving.
  2. Eat well, balancing all food groups.
  1. Spend more time with family and friends.
  2. Laugh more (read LEADon’s blog “Humility and Humor”).
  3. Say no more often.
  4. Calendar “down time” this week to do something you enjoy.
  5. Strive to think more positively (check out our blog, “Optimism: The Fountain of Youth”).

In a Forbes post, Kara Dennison explains that “engaging in healthier habits and intentional self-care is crucial for overall health and well-being.  It significantly contributes to job performance.” In other words, you will be healthier, happier, and far more productive—and so will those individuals in your spheres of influence. Why? Because “more health-savvy leaders … understand the significant impact well-being has on a company’s success. It affects performance, retention, and ultimately, revenue” (read more of Dennison’s article, “Executives and Leaders are Leaving Their Roles Due to Burnout” at

No one on your team, including you, should feel compelled to leave your Corporate Family in order to improve health and wellness.  Instead, begin implementing these approaches that will help you identify and address stress in positive, proactive ways—then cascade these strategies throughout your organization.  The team at LEADon has created numerous online courses that can also facilitate this process, especially LEADing through Stress and Burnout®, LEADers Manage Their Health®, and LEADing with Personal & Professional Life Balance®.  If you’d like more information about how the team at LEADon can assist with these and other leadership needs, please contact us at 858.592.0700, or visit our website at

*See for more details on the Deloitte survey.