The Advisor’s Corner – Is Burnout a Reality?


Is ‘burnout’ a reality, or am I just being a whiner?

StrategyDriven Response: (by Roxi Hewertson, StrategyDriven Principal Contributor)

It’s true that burnout behaviors can look a lot like victim behaviors. However, burnout is a real state of mind and can be debilitating in many ways. If you are trying to decide whether or not you are simply whining or at risk of burnout, consider this: You know you are toast when you’re always exhausted, not laughing, highly critical or cynical, disengaged, or overwhelmed. We can burnout when we’re not feeling appreciated, when “it isn’t fair,” when work is meaningless, when we have values dissonance, and when we’re bored. Sometimes we can ‘manage up’ and work with our boss or manage differently with others to mitigate the root causes of our burnout. Sometimes, we just need to take control where we have control.

The best and fastest way to move from victim to victor is to take control. In our society, we have far more we control over our lives than we think we do. We control our attitude, behaviors, choices, what we say and do and to whom we say it. By strengthening and filling up our personal resilience ‘tank’ we can take back control over our lives one big or little chunk at a time. These are some relatively simple strategies that really do work. I recommend starting with number one and begin to add another and another without leaving any behind.

  1. Believe in yourself – remind yourself that you’ve solved many, many problems before and will do so again
  2. Identify accurately the root cause of your pain
  3. Reach out to others – it’s not a weakness to ask for input, and help from people you trust
  4. Find your empathy and compassion – acts of grace will change your body chemistry!
  5. Control instant gratification urges that cause you harm – mad shopping, eating, drinking, quitting in a huff…
  6. Stay calm vs. becoming reactive
  7. Laugh as much as you can in as many ways you can – movies, cartoons, jokes, friends… whatever brings you joy

Growing your resilience is a process not a trait. We’ve all bounced back from tough things in our lives, so you do know how to do it. The problem is, we forget our wins when we are feeling burned out. It’s time to remember how much you’ve achieved in your life and perhaps it just might be the right time to reimagine what will make you happy, including what is truly meaningful to you. Focusing on what IS working for you right now, and what you want in the future can help jump start your journey back into the light.

About the Author

Leadership authority Roxana (Roxi) Hewertson is a no-nonsense business veteran revered for her nuts-and-bolts, tell-it-like-it-is approach and practical, out-of-the-box insights that help both emerging and expert managers, executives and owners boost quantifiable job performance in various mission critical facets of business. Through, Roxi — “the Dear Abby of Leadership” — imparts invaluable free advice to managers and leaders at all levels, from the bullpen to the boardroom, to help them solve problems, become more effective and realize a higher measure of business and career success.

The StrategyDriven website was created to provide members of our community with insights to the actions that help create the shared vision, focus, and commitment needed to improve organizational alignment and accountability for the achievement of superior results. We look forward to answering your strategic planning and tactical business execution questions. Please email your questions to [email protected].

StrategyDriven’s Online Advisory Forum – The Advisor’s Corner

StrategyDriven's Online Advisory Forum - The Advisor's CornerAs a business leader, you face mission-critical challenges every day. Working through these important issues in a deliberate way increases your chances of making the right decisions.

So does having an experienced, outside perspective. To further aid you in your ongoing strategic planning and tactical business execution decisions, StrategyDriven is proud to host an online advisory forum, The Advisor’s Corner. This forum provides you an opportunity to pose questions anonymously and receive real-world insights from our experienced business advisors and community professionals. Questions and answers are published in The Advisor’s Corner for the benefit of all site visitors; providing an ever growing library of experiences for you to draw from.

Submit your questions to The Advisor’s Corner by email at: [email protected]. Let us know your question’s priority and response by date so we can reply in a timely manner. All questions submitted will remain anonymous to maintain confidentiality.

Want to learn more?

Click here to visit The Advisor’s Corner and learn from the many questions and answers already posted within this unique knowledge sharing forum!

The Advisor’s Corner – Can a Manager Really Do It All?


How can managers possibly do everything presented on the StrategyDriven website?

StrategyDriven Response:

Managers should be able to perform all of the best practices presented on the StrategyDriven website as these focus on the manager’s primary role – to manage people, resources, and their deployment. It is when managers are ‘working managers,’ doing the work of subordinates, that performance of all of our recommendations becomes untenable.

Additional Resources

The concept of the working manager is not a new one nor is its practice limited to a handful of organizations. StrategyDriven Contributors believe such practices diminishes managers’ effectiveness and diminish their organization’s overall performance. Specifics on how to recognize and avoid the pitfalls of the working manager are contained within the StrategyDriven article, Management and Leadership Warning Flag 1 – Working Managers.

The Advisor’s Corner – When Should Consultants Be Used?


We’ve brought in a number of high priced consultants to perform a business case analysis. In hind sight, it appears we could have done the same work with internal resources. Why then did we hire these costly advisors?

StrategyDriven Response:

There are many reasons for hiring consultants. One or more of these likely applied in your situation:

  1. The consultants brought unique insights and experiences from outside your organization; enabling them to develop and present points of view that would otherwise have not been available for consideration.
  2. The organization staff did not have the capacity to perform the given task. Therefore, the consultants were hired to augment the labor pool.
  3. The existing staff had the capacity but not the knowledge and skills to perform the work. (Note that this appears to not be a factor given the question asked but is a legitimate reason for hiring consultants.)
  4. The organization is reluctant to implement the recommendations made by those internal resources not viewed as being experts in a particular area. Subsequently, the consultants are brought in because of their ‘expert status’ that leaders know will enable them to move forward with a desired course of action.

The reason for engaging consultants should always be understood prior to hiring them. Clear, quantifiable expectations should be documented within the statement of work that define the value they are to bring to the organization whether that is external knowledge and experience, labor augmentation, skills augmentation, or to drive a particular perspective. The consultants must be held to the achievement of these established goals in order to ensure they have met the return on investment promised by their employment.

Final Thought…

Using consultants should always be on a temporary basis. Some organizations fall prey to hiring consultants for temporary staff augmentation only to find that these individuals remain in position for years if not decades. Such circumstances highlight an understaffing condition that should be alleviated by the typically less expensive option of hiring additional resources rather than engaging costly consultants for extended periods.

Additional Resources

StrategyDriven Contributors further highlight the benefits of using consultants in the article, Independent Assessors.

New Service Announcement – The Advisor’s Corner

To further expand on our ongoing strategic planning and tactical business execution conversation, StrategyDriven Contributors are proud to announce the launch of a new service, The Advisor’s Corner. This service provides all guests to the StrategyDriven website an opportunity to ask direct questions of our experienced business professionals. Questions and answers will then be posted in The Advisor’s Corner category for all site visitors to view. Additionally, StrategyDriven members will have the opportunity to share their insights and experience by way of comments and feedback to these postings.

Questions can be submitted to The Advisor’s Corner by email at [email protected] or by using the ‘Email The Advisor’s Corner’ link located on the right sidebar on the StrategyDriven website. If desired, questions may be submitted anonymously to maintain confidentiality.

StrategyDriven contributors greatly appreciate the continued patronage of our website and hope this new offering is of benefit to all our site’s visitors.