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How to prevent managerial burnout

Are you a manager or director who:

  1. Strongly Identifies with the company, is passionate about work?
  2. Is a highly people-oriented person who cares about the team?
  3. Always wants to complete all tasks assigned to the team?
  4. Manages the team using affiliative and/or democratic leadership styles?


If you’ve answered YES to at least three of the questions, read on – you may be at risk of managerial burnout.

In the course of my coaching sessions with over 150 managers and directors during 2021, I noticed that leaders with such characteristics often tend to:

  1. Believe that all assigned tasks equally contribute to success
  2. Hold back from negotiating the scope, timing, or depth of assigned tasks, often perceiving such behavior as “rude”
  3. Have problems delegating and holding others accountable for assigned tasks
  4. Confuse role modelling with performing tasks on behalf of their direct reports


In effect, such managers become easily overloaded with tasks, quickly lose energy and start making mistakes, which they usually want to make up for with even more effort. If the situation persists, this can easily lead to managerial burnout.

How can you avoid becoming a burnt-out manager?

When I am called in to support a manager in such a state, we usually work in weekly sessions over the period of four to six months.

During the process, I help my clients gradually improve their managerial effectiveness in a healthy way – with self-care and with gradual reduction of workload accumulated due to upward delegation.

To do that, we usually follow a simple yet deep coaching process that includes five key phases:

  1. Removing of stress, expanding situational- and self-awareness of the client
  2. Exploring the individual root causes of burnout-prone behavior (i.e. limiting beliefs)
  3. Releasing from the identified personal (psychological) limitations
  4. Discussing, improving and practicing relevant leadership skills
  5. Applying new skills at work with teams, peers and bosses, change management


I find it helpful to use a mixture of my executive coaching and counselling skills (Gestalt therapy) adapted to each client according to the nature and extent of their challenges and scope of our coaching contract.

As a result of this coaching process, managers:

  • Quickly learn how to manage effectively without personal sacrifices, on their terms
  • Work more effectively through people, especially in a remote working environment
  • Achieve more with less effort and fewer completed tasks (80/20 rule)
  • Free up time for strategic planning and other important things in life


Do you feel that you have too much on your managerial plate?

If so, what drains your energy and adds to your feeling of work overload?



Maciej Szturmowicz

Scaleup Founder, Coach, Facilitator

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