Success is like a flywheel. It is very hard to start, but once in motion, doesn’t take a lot to keep it going. A little tap now and then, and the wheel continues to run.
In business, once you start achieving successes, you typically have more.
The concern is that people begin to burn out.
CEOs and leaders have to be able to keep things running smoothly, and keep the flywheel in motion without exhausting their people.
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What Causes Burnout?
Research shows that three factors contribute to burnout:
- Feeling unable to fulfill job requirements
The frenetic pace of the flywheel creates the “ideal” conditions for burnout. How can you counter these to create ideal conditions for continued success?
Two Steps To Prevent Burnout
1. First of all, remember that celebrating successes can keep employees going strong. Success breeds success; it can also create a situation in which we stop taking time out to acknowledge the wins. Instead we essentially take them for granted. Acknowledging the work of your people ensures they don’t become burned out, but continue to apply optimal energy to their work.
2. Secondly, make sure that people have breaks. Downtime after a win gives an employee the chance to take a breath, de-stress, and think about their next big adventure. You don’t want to immediately jump into a new initiative. If your team just won the Super Bowl, you wouldn’t hold a practice the minute the game was over. You would give them time to savor the victory. This can be hard to do, especially if you’re short players and the “season” isn’t over.
A good CEO, though, will find a way to get their people some downtime. They can only ride momentum for so long before they need a break.
Being in that position where success begets success is great. Your organization is growing and thriving; the danger is that your people fall victim to your own momentum. Taking the time to celebrate successes and build in breaks keeps the flywheel of success turning smoothly.