My Siberian Husky stared at me, unsure of why his owner had just screamed at him.

I’m not the kind of guy who yells at his pets, in fact, I’m not the kind of guy who yells at all, so when I lost it on my dog, I knew something wasn’t right.

I was suffering from a case of leadership fatigue.

The day someone promoted you to be a leader, they gave you a small weight to carry. As your duties increased and the amount of people you were responsible for did as well, the weight got heavier and heavier. It’s imperceptible at first but over time it begins to sneak up on you and if you’re not careful can lead to the first signs of burnout. Suddenly…

You’re irritated at the smallest things with your staff.

You’re suddenly more impatient than normal.

You don’t want to see your employees.

You wish you could escape and go someplace else.

You feel like telling everyone to leave you alone.

If you can relate, then maybe you are suffering with Leadership Fatigue.

If so here are a few things that can help you out:

  1. Realize You’re Not Alone – Almost all leaders experience this at some time, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Leading isn’t easy and we all get tired. The fact that you are trying to be a good boss is commendable.
  1. Clean Out Your Emotional Closet. Leadership Fatigue is amplified by undealt with emotions. Maybe you’re angry at your boss for snubbing you at the last executive meeting, one of your team members went over your head when they disagreed with your decision, or maybe one of your employees has been taking advantage of your friendship lately. When we don’t deal with the things that make us angry it multiplies the weight. Make a list of all the things irritating you and then resolve to either let them go or begin leaning into some honest conversations for resolution.
  1. Take a Day Off. I know you have too much to do and you’re already behind, but sometimes you need to take a recharge day. This is not a day to catch up on errands and everything else you might be behind on in life, but a day to recharge. Go and visit a local museum, find a new restaurant, plan a field trip with some close friends, or sit at the beach with a good book. While not a long-term fix it does help you recharge.
  1. Make a Stop-Doing List. We accumulate responsibilities over time and people will continue to give us more and more until we say stop. Take a look at your plate and if it all doesn’t fit, then have a talk with somebody about downsizing your load. Even ditching one thing can relieve some of the stress.
  1. Recommit to Health. Your job is not your life and if it is getting in the way of exercise, eating healthy and proper sleep then something has to change. After you retire you will not wish you had spent more hours at work. If you have neglected your health then recommit even in tiny ways.

Leadership Fatigue is a very real thing. The key is not waiting until it hits before you slow down. Leave a comment below on some of the best things you have found to help with Leadership Fatigue. Other readers will appreciate the ideas.