Exhausted Leaders

Exhausted I’m so busy! It’s all good stuff, but between work and family and serving the church, I’m exhausted.

How many times have you heard this from a high-capacity leader? Or thought something similarly to yourself? I know I have.

Exhaustion is the preceding problem to many bigger issues in organizations and individual lives. It should be an alarming warning light you take seriously.

So, why do leaders work near the edge of exhaustion?

As a coach to high-capacity leaders, I’ve seen a few common reasons. Here are two:

  1. High commitment to work hard with low commitment to basic spirituality.

High-capacity leaders get affirmed and rewarded for hard work and an ability to produce. I can do many things well all at the same time. It seems, at least initially, that perpetual busyness pays off!

But does it pay off? If you’ve been leading for more than a decade, you know it doesn’t. Even if you won’t admit it to yourself. High-capacity leaders get exhausted and it leads to bigger problems.

I hate this quote from Eugene Peterson so much I have it taped to my monitor.

Busyness is the enemy of spirituality. It is essentially laziness…. filling our time with our own actions instead of paying attention to God’s actions.

I hate it because he’s right.

God says rest one day in seven. I think it’s a trick to keep me from doing my job with excellence. God tells us to pray and meditate on Him and His Word. I can think of 15 more urgent things to get done yesterday. Over the long haul, endless hard work without biblical spirituality sets you up to feeling exhausted.

  1. High capacity to make things happen with low capacity to trust what has happened.

My first management job at age 21 was on the road leading five other young men on tour with a music production company out of St. Petersburg FL. The mission was: “Make It Happen!” Literally, the shows had to go on no matter what!

High-capacity leaders get addicted to making it happen because we get our value and identity out of doing. But this short-changes the profound truth that leaders are human beings, created in the image of God.

High-capacity leaders are human beings, not a human doings.

You’re made to thrive in a relationship with God, other people and His creation. And all that was done for you by God through Jesus.

What is the risk of exhausted high-capacity leaders?

You tell me. You’ve seen it. What happens when leaders are exhausted?

Some complain, some quit, others quit and don’t tell you. Others burnout and some make catastrophically bad decisions that impact everyone around them.

Exhausted leaders have a problem that can be addressed. If you see yourself headed in this direction, a gospel coach can help you learn to live based on what Jesus has done.

Gospel coaches help high-capacity leaders do well in work but not at the expense of your soul and the things you truly value like family, ministry and health.

CMM can help you find a gospel coach and even train you to coach other high-capacity leaders. Let us know how we can help.

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