Leadership and burnout are inextricably connected

In one of the largest studies of burnout, Gallup found the biggest sources were unfair treatment at work, followed by an unmanageable workload, unclear communication from managers, lack of manager support and unreasonable time pressure.

Burnout is as much of a leadership problem as it is a personal problem. My mission is to show leaders and team members how to build a powerful wave of purpose and hope throughout organizations to re-energize and re-engage to help resolve burnout.

Shaun Tomson with Richard Branson and Malcom Gladwell

Over the last few years, I have spoken to organizations across the world – a quarter of a million people – I have spoken at the fastest growing company in world history, at the bio tech company that developed the first treatment for Covid, schools, universities, inmates, people in recovery, PTSD survivors and community groups.

My process focuses on purpose – a committed intention to realize aims that are meaningful to oneself and the broader world – an on hope, a desire and a commitment to a better life.

Along with activating hope and purpose, the desired results of my open source method are higher levels of engagement, wellbeing, unity, and improved performance.

Research has revealed that burnout may be characterized by 4 dimensions.

  1. Exhaustion
  2. Mental distance from one’s job.
  3. Negativity or cynicism about one’s job.
  4. Powerlessness

My method cannot help with Exhaustion, but let me show how I may be able to assist with mental distance, negativity and powerlessness.

I like to think of my Code Method like a Swiss army knife – multi use and multipurpose – a tool for many problems.

My approach is popular in business because our 81,396 hours of lifetime work occupy more time for us than any other activity (except sleeping) and some work is creating great misery across our land.

In the latest Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report, a study of 112,312 business units across the world, they discovered that for most people work sucks.

  • 60% of people are emotionally detached at work and 19% are miserable.
  • Gallup’s businessese for work suckiness and work misery is active disengagement.
  • Work wellbeing and thriving is engagement.
  • They also discovered that only 21% of employees are engaged at work and only 33% of employees are thriving in their overall wellbeing.

A disturbing state of affairs – it seems a malaise of unhappiness has settled across the planet. Active Disengagement and Burnout are closely related – very close – kinda like brother and sister.

How to get employees engaged?

  • Less Negativity.
  • Less mental distance.
  • More personal power.

The Code Method is one intervention among many – it is open source Code so it can be used in any way that any of you wish. Here is the Code Method – in 15 minutes one can change life trajectory through activating purpose and igniting hope.

The Code Workshop

The Code Method

  • Find a quiet spot and do the exercise solo, or with your family or colleagues at work.
  • Set aside 15 minutes.
  • Write 12 lines, each beginning with “I will…”
  • If you are with a group, then once all are complete, each person gets up and reads their 12 lines out loud to each other.
  • If you are solo, read it to yourself and feel proud.

These words are poetry of the soul – words of passion, power and purpose.

My approach with the Method is deeply personal.

For 17 years, since a personal tragedy changed my life course, my approach has been to tell stories and illustrate a simple, quick and low-cost intervention to activate purpose and hope in individuals in organizations…

I tell stories across the world to community groups, religious groups, associations, high schools, universities, legislators, inmates and to some of the world’s largest organizations. Though Covid I have spoken to over a quarter of a million people and have had an opportunity, in my sample set, to see the mindset of the American people.

  • I tell simple stories of passion and purpose – of courage, faith, hope, resilience, love, perseverance and power!
  • I tell stories of – character – ETHOS
  • I describe how to create a simple Code to activate purpose – TELOS
  • I offer no prescription, only my stories and my perspective, of ethos – character, and telos – purpose, – and the Code, to help others find their purpose and their path.

All the stories I tell help me, word by word, sentence by sentence, create meaning, purpose and hope for my own life, and help me in my path forward out of the darkness, towards the light that shines ahead. After my stories are told, I encourage others to write their own Code, 12 lines of commitment, 12 lines of hope, purpose and power, melding their ethos (character), and telos (purpose) into a commitment to action.

This process, The Code Method, is a tool for individual introspection, collective engagement, commitment and accountability, that seems to help distill and reframe one’s purpose, and focus one’s psychic energy into an actionable 12-line mantra for positive change.

  • It is a way to find one’s best self, and a way for others to know one’s best self.
  • It is a way to re-connect to one’s true purpose, a way to re-engage with the meaning of one’s life.

I believe this simple intervention can help burned-out individuals and organizations find meaning and purpose in the challenging sea of life.

Try it, and if you like it, share it with someone who needs it…

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