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Leadership Burnout & Community Over Teams with Dr. Kim Hires

June 16, 2020

Today leadership burnout educator and coach Dr. Kim Hires shares about her journey through leadership burnout. We talk about how to prevent burnout by hiring a community, not simply a team – guys, it’s GOLD!

As the CEO and Founder of The Nightingale Firm, LLC, Dr. Kim Hires specializes in leader development training, alignment coaching and consulting for mid to senior level leaders.

Crashing head-first into Leadership Burnout was the wake-up call Dr. Kim needed to take a step back and realign her passion, purpose, resources and performance. Her books, courses and unique approach helps leaders rise to incredible levels in life and business.

Dr. Kim Hires

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A recovering overachiever

Getting her PhD, getting married and having a child, Dr. Kim says everything looked great on paper – until she woke up one morning and she couldn’t figure out where her motivation went.

Long story short, she was experiencing burnout. “In my discovery process, I realized no one had been checking in on leaders,” she said. “And there was no roadmap to follow. The first time I heard the word burnout I had no idea what it meant.”

Burnout, she says, is not classified as depression or anxiety – it’s a completely different experience that is directly tied to your work. It’s considered an occupational hazard.

She discovered there were no resources out there to help prevent burnout, and there was no system to make sure leaders were not dealing with it.

“Water rolls downhill,” she says. “So if you’re not checking in on your leaders then they will be at capacity and they will not be able to check for burnout in anyone else, because they themselves enter into survival mode.”

Preventing leadership burnout within ourselves

When leaders avoid burnout, they ensure their team members avoid it as well. Dr. Kim also says this secures a more productive and healthier work environment.

So, how did she know she was suffering from burnout, and how can we highlight the same in ourselves?

Dr. Kim highlights several red flags we can look out for when we’re identifying burnout in ourselves and in our teams:

  • An unexplainable lack of motivation
  • Being emotionally drained
  • A major loss of self-confidence
  • An apathy for interpersonal relationships and conversation
  • Feeling like you’re in survival mode

What do we do if we’re experiencing burnout?

When a leader is experiencing burnout, Dr. Kim says a leader has three choices. They will either adapt, go into survival mode, or flat out crash.

At that point, it takes longer to bounce back. It took her a full year of intentional therapy and coaching to come back, to heal from it then move forward.

“You have to unplug. If one day will make or break your company, you have a much bigger issue. You have to build in rest, we were designed for rest.”

What else do we talk about in this episode?

  • Creating check and balance system to prevent burnout
  • A simple exercise you can do today to begin preventing burnout
  • Creating quarterly commitments to self-care and treating ourselves
  • Curating a community in your hires and team members
  • The difference between a community and a team
  • How Covid-19 is changing the business landscape and the calling of leadership

Powerful Quotables from Dr. Kim Hires

“Here’s the thing about leaders. We’re the students who do the hard work, and if we just plow through, well, decades of plowing through got to me. Stop. Look up. How’d you get here? Check in with yourself.”

“You have a lot of leaders running around on empty. There’s no productivity in that. That’s the secret a lot of leaders hide behind.”

“Self care isn’t selfish, it’s what you need. If you don’t take care of you, it doesn’t matter what you can produce.”

“If you’re not someone I’d want in my home, I’m not going to hire you. Create a place where you have people creating the same goal, internally and altruisitcally.”

“If one person leaves a team, the dynamics shift and everything runs the risk of falling apart, but in a community every person contributes to the legacy of whatever it is collectively you’re working on.”

Connect with Dr. Kim Hires

Visit Dr. Kim Hires’ website to learn more about her work

Check out Dr. Kim’s book, the Leadership Manifesto

Check out Dr. Kim’s book, the Plan to Grow workbook

Follow Dr. Kim Hires on Instagram

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I'm Kaylan, leadership educator, podcaster & speaker

What are you searching for?

Reading suggestions

Crafting a 90-Day Onboarding Plan

Job Postings that Attract Top Talent

Mapping Your Leadership Style