Learning from Burnout
Routledge – 2009 – 256 pages
Burnout is a taboo subject. Admitting you are burning out in your job is tantamount to career suicide for some employees; for their organizations it is like raising a white flag in the war for talent. But suppose that preventing burnout is the worst thing you can do. Suppose for some people, particularly high fliers, it represents a call to deep and urgent learning about themselves and how they relate to the world. Suppose that we need instead to learn to manage burnout and harness the powerful learning potential of the experience, and in so doing build careers aligned with individual meaning and purpose, sustainable in the long term. What would organizations and their people need to do to achieve this?
* Explains what burnout is, how it is becoming the 21st-century business equivalent of the 'black death', and how it can derail your career
* Highlights the financial, reputational and personal costs to organizations and people
* Details how burnout can deliver a killer punch to talent management and the development of the leaders of tomorrow, and risk the retention, growth and productivity of high fliers
* Explores why some of us develop a strong sense of our own, personal identity at work, while others find it more difficult
* Presents a coaching process to manage burnout and harness its learning potential
* Provides a framework for individuals to build careers aligned with individual meaning and purpose.
"A fascinating insight into the whole area of burnout, in particular the insight into an individual's predisposition. The tendency has always been to blame the working environment or the individual concerned, assuming that they actually cannot 'hack' the job, so this book offers a refreshing dimension. The title encapsulates in the word 'learning' the key message of the book that burnout should not be seen as negative/taboo but an opportunity for both the organization and the individual to 'harness the powerful learning of the experience'.
Kate Williams, Co-Director, The Learning Approach
1 Sitting at the ashes of the fire
2 The edge and how to explain it
3 On committing corporate suicide
4 How to burn out
5 The hero’s journey
6 A ledge beyond the edge
7 Developing leaders with purpose
Appendix 1: The physiological basis for burnout
Appendix 2: Moment of truth conversations