7 Warning Signs a Leader Is Heading for Burnout

Burned out
Have you experienced any of these signs of burnout? (Lightstock)

I’ve been there. I’ve faced burnout and frustration in my work.

Thankfully, I’ve never bottomed out, but I’ve felt near the bottom in my spirit. More than that, I’ve walked through these times with dozens of other leaders. 

I’ve learned there are some common indicators that a leader is heading toward burnout. The sooner we can recognize them, the sooner we know to reach out for help. 

Here are seven indicators you’re heading for burnout:

1. Isolation. When the leader begins to avoid others, something is wrong. Leadership involves people. Not all leaders are overly communicative, but when the leader tries to avoid people who need the leader’s attention, something is wrong. Some leaders begin to question people around them. They struggle with mistrust or fear that others are talking about them, questioning them or out to get them. 

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

2. Excuses. When the leader always has an answer why he or she was late, blames others for everything or can’t see his or her own shortcomings, they are struggling with something. It may be burnout.  

3. Hidden sins. Many people hide in their sins, but burnout causes secret, deep sins. These are often new vices hidden from people who normally know you. The person who never drank before is now drinking often. Someone who never struggled with pornography before suddenly can’t avoid it … and justifies it as a “release.” 

4. Apathy. When you don’t care anymore. And you don’t really care that you don’t care anymore. 

5. Indecisiveness. This is about paralysis and a refusal to make decisions. The person in this condition feels like every decision is a major one. And there are seem to be so many, they make none.

6. Short-tempered. Normally easy-going people often become shorter fused when under extreme pressure. 

7. Desperation. When every day seems to be a panic day, beware. The leader is in a danger zone. There will be seasons of this in all of our lives, but we can’t live there long. We need periods of calm in our leadership. If the leader always feels this way, something is wrong. 

Granted, all of these may be indicators of other problems, but, in my experience, they are good signs of a potential crash. 

Be careful. If a few of these describe you, regardless of how you label it, now is the time to get help. Now.

(After several requests, I’ll share some ideas of where to get help in a future post, but depending on the severity, if you’re seriously about to give up, grab the closest person to you. Be vulnerable.)

Ron Edmondson is a church planter and pastor with a heart for strategy, leadership and marketing, especially geared toward developing churches and growing and improving the kingdom of God.

For the original article, visit ronedmondson.com.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Help Charisma stay strong for years to come as we report on life in the Spirit. Become an integral part of Charisma’s work by joining Charisma Media Partners. Click here to keep us strong!

Dr. Mark Rutland's

National Institute of Christian Leadership (NICL)

The NICL is one of the top leadership training programs in the U.S. taught by Dr. Mark Rutland. If you're the type of leader that likes to have total control over every aspect of your ministry and your future success, the NICL is right for you!

FREE NICL MINI-COURSE - Enroll for 3-hours of training from Dr. Rutland's full leadership course. Experience the NICL and decide if this training is right for you and your team.

Do you feel stuck? Do you feel like you’re not growing? Do you need help from an expert in leadership? There is no other leadership training like the NICL. Gain the leadership skills and confidence you need to lead your church, business or ministry. Get ready to accomplish all of your God-given dreams. CLICK HERE for NICL training dates and details.

The NICL Online is an option for any leader with time or schedule constraints. It's also for leaders who want to expedite their training to receive advanced standing for Master Level credit hours. Work through Dr. Rutland's full training from the comfort of your home or ministry at your pace. Learn more about NICL Online. Learn more about NICL Online.

Your Turn

Comment Guidelines
View/Add Comments
Charisma Leader — Serving and empowering church leaders