THE SHOP

Performance Business - May '13

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Defending Against Personal Burnout Many leaders will associate the implementation of change in their organization with elevated levels of stress, frustration and anxiety. These pressures, combined with the typical increases in responsibilities for staff members, can lead to personal burnout. Undoubtedly, quick and/or frequent change may prompt managers to question whether it's all worth it. However, even in the face of ongoing change, leaders can use these strategies to defend against personal burnout and frustration. Part of the Job Effective leaders accept that change is a normal function associated with their jobs. In this way, change is no longer perceived as an event that threatens the organization, but simply a normal function of everyday business activity. Leaders who embrace change plan small, incremental adjustments that help their organization slowly evolve and adapt. As a result, the company will eventually see an increase in productivity and efficiency. All it takes is a change in the leader's perception to reduce the stress and pressures that he or she once associated with organizational change. Anticipate Rather Than Resist When people oppose change in their organization, they end up focusing their energy on resistance rather than acceptance. This focus saps the energy required to maintain productivity and effectiveness, which ultimately leads to burnout. On the other hand, leaders who accept and anticipate change learn to harness its momentum to their benefit and use that energy to enact change throughout the organization, producing positive outcomes and results. Incorporate The incorporation of small, incremental changes into daily activities allows the organization to grow and evolve while simultaneously increasing productivity, effectiveness and efficiency. The incremental nature of change allows leaders to build it seamlessly into the organizational culture. When the organization accepts change as a daily occurrence, leaders don't really feel pressured, nor do they experience high levels of personal stress and anxiety. This greatly reduces personal burnout. Experiment Leaders that learn to accept and incorporate change into their daily responsibilities also learn the value of experimenting with new ideas and concepts. They discover that small changes can be tested with minimal impact and that lessons can be learned from all successes and failures. These lessons are ultimately incorporated into adaptations made by the organization. Experimentation also helps leaders reduce risks associated with change. And less risk equals less stress, frustration and anxiety—all of which are associated with burnout. —Timothy Bednarz May 2013 PBMAY 2.indd 51 n Performance Business n 51 3/29/13 10:50 AM

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