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The Alternative Board Blog

Are You Afflicted with CEO Burnout?

Feb. 28, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi


Business owners and CEOs sometimes think they’re immune to the kind of workplace burnout that affects others on the team.

In fact, they are not immune. Business leaders are human, after all, and they can fall prey to the same weariness and lack of a productive mindset that others experience in their jobs. With all the responsibilities and challenges facing them—not least of which is a 24/7 preoccupation with the business—it’s not surprising when burnout occurs.

“Experiencing burnout isn’t something to be ashamed of or a sign of weakness,” notes Forbes. This condition indicates “you are in dire need of a change in how you run things and how much time you spend running things.”

How can you tell if burnout is approaching and what can you do about it?


Recognize the symptoms.

Do you sometimes experience symptoms of burnout, without realizing what it is? Watch for a lack of focus in your work, being susceptible to getting colds or just feeling “down,” and simply wishing not to cope with daily challenges. A common indicator of burnout is an absence of motivation and an unwillingness to work with your team.


Start by recognizing you’re not alone.

As we have noted in the past, many business leaders can and do experience burnout. All too often, however, individuals feel they are the only ones going through a difficult time. To surmount this challenge, “be honest about your stress, your burnout, your anxiety, your depression—whatever the emotion is, it’s ok to feel the way you are feeling.”


Take better care of yourself.

Burnout is frequently the result of overwork, lack of sleep, poor time management, and an inability to “turn off” when you’re not in the office. Many of these troubling symptoms may disappear if you focus on taking better care of yourself, including:

  • Get more sleep.
  • Eat healthier food.
  • Take a 10-minute walk away from your desk.
  • Find a quiet place to think about the big picture.

“Fundamentally, you have to take care of yourself so that you can take care of others,” notes CEO Today. Proper self-care among executives “is the most commonly neglected element” of leadership.


Want additional insight? Read 9 Steps to Safeguard Your Business to learn more



Resist multi-tasking.

There was probably a time when you felt you had to juggle numerous projects at once. But now you’re leading a team of talented, responsible employees, so there’s no need to multi-task and risk burning yourself out. As we’ve noted before, “when you split your attention between two or more differing activities, the end-result is often less than what you would get from staying with one task at a time.”

What’s genuinely important to you? Focus your energy on a handful of priorities and you’ll likely feel more productive, rather than burned-out, at the end of the day.


Keep delegating.

Nothing is likely to alleviate burnout more than being able to delegate responsibilities to others on the team. Accepting the fact that nobody can “do it all” marks a huge step forward in conquering burnout. The more tasks others can take on, the more time you have for taking care of yourself and thinking strategically about the business.


Join a peer advisory group.

 In a group of CEOs and business leaders, you quickly learn that it’s no longer necessary to be lonely at the top. TAB Mastermind groups help proactive business leader accelerate their personal and professional growth—and, just as importantly, help to avoid or offset CEO burnout. There’s a lot you can learn in a peer advisory group. It’s also a great opportunity to share your own insights about leading a business.

Burnout doesn’t have to happen. Provided you take care of yourself and find a like-minded group of business leaders, you can pursue your ambitions and achieve success in your endeavors, both personal and professional.

Want to learn more about effective time-management? Register for our free TAB Boss webinar, “15 Time Management Rules.”

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by Lee Polevoi

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