Five Things I Wish I Knew Before I Succumbed To Burnout.

Five Things I Wish I Knew Before I Succumbed To Burnout.

Katie Maycock | Anxiety and Digestive Health Specialist

Burnout is something that changed the way I work, relax, exercise, eat, drink… It has changed nearly every aspect of my life.

Burnout is becoming more common within the workplace. A new Gallup report mentioned that 2/3 of employees have felt burnt out.

That’s ridiculous. Not only that, it’s frightening.

For a lot of people, burnout is not at the forefront of their minds until they are in fact burnt out. This is why I am here, to help anyone that maybe walking (or sprinting) down the path to burnout.

Here my Five Things I wish I Knew Before Burning Out.

1) You Can’t Sprint A Marathon.

That’s right my friends. You absolutely cannot sprint a marathon.

Trust me I tried (figuratively… Not literally).

Goals, deadlines and targets is not a sprinting race. 

The more people I speak to, the more I realise the sense of urgency is taking over.

This is creating situations where people feel pressured to rush absolutely everything. Quantity over quality is now the reality for many people.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It also doesn’t equate success a lot of the time.

Setting goals, targets and deadlines can be achieved at a moderate (dare I say, calm) pace. You don’t have to be a bull at the gates. In fact, you’re more likely to be more successful when you, in fact, slow down! True story.

2) Slowing Down Is Not A Sign Of Weakness.

This is a follow on from You Can’t Sprint A Marathon, however, with a little twist.

I remember thinking that if I slowed down for whatever reason I would not be successful. I saw it as a weakness. How wrong I was.

This is common practice for a lot of high achievers and top performers.

Slowing down can feel counterproductive. However, slowing down doesn’t mean stopping. That’s the part a lot of people miss. I definitely did. For a lot of top performers and high achievers, they have the “all or nothing” mentality. So it can be seen as though slowing down is stopping. However, slowing down can give you a better perspective. It gives you the ability to refine your skills and re-think how to do things. It creates a space for reflection, bringing you closer to success.

3) Celebrate Your Wins.

This is HUGE for any high achievers or top performers. It’s okay to celebrate your wins. I remember NEVER and I mean NEVER celebrating my wins.

I didn’t take the time to reflect on how well I had done or how well I was doing. I was crazy, I just wanted to be doing more. It was as though I would tick the achievement off and move onto the next thing. Without a breath. Thinking back, that is an exhausting mindset.

This is not a good place to be. Celebrating your wins is really important. It provides space to not just BE successful but to FEEL successful. Very different. Otherwise, you end up feeling empty and chasing goals that have zero meaning or purpose.

4) “No Rest Days” Makes ZERO Sense.

“No rest day’s” and being proud of it grinds my gears. Probably because I believed this for a very long time and ended up severely burnout and disgruntled.

There are a lot of business owners and motivational speakers who talk about grinding every second of every minute of every single day to be successful.

This does not make sense. 
We are humans, not robots.

We need rest to not only regain physical strength but also to regain mental fortitude. We do not have a limitless pool of energy and resources that we can tap into without replenishing it.

That’s plain crazy to think that. Rest is just as important as the work you put in.

5) Listen To Your Body.

Our bodies will tell us when we’re not coping. All we have to do is listen.

Simple right? Not so simple if you have tunnel vision.

This is something a lot of high achievers and top performers learn the hard way.

Being fatigued, tired, grumpy or becoming sick is our bodies way of saying “hey, I would really like some rest please”. It’s not the signal to work harder.

Most people that end up burnt out, get those little reminders but choose to ignore them. Why? Because they can’t see the long term damage. They don’t see those little reminders as a sign that something much worse is on its way.

Not listening to those gentle reminders will lead you to full burnout.

My advice, listen to your body it does know best! If it’s telling you to take a step back and take a little rest, do it. If you need the afternoon off, take it. If you need to switch off your phone, do it! 

They are the Five Things I Wish I Knew Before I Succumbed To Burnout.

I hope this helps all those top performers and high achievers. If you’re a manager that has someone in your team that has those traits, come up with an action plan to help them.

It may sound counterintuitive, however, doing so can prevent your top performer being signed off work or even worse, having to quit. If any of this rings true to you and you don’t know how to re-direct that mentality, let’s connect. Or check out my website for more blogs and videos.

Sharing is Caring: Organizational Knowledge Sharing

Sharing is Caring: Organizational Knowledge Sharing

James Kelley, Ph.D.

Does your organization have the conditions to share knowledge freely? Does the culture of innovation flow in your organization? What about group identity, it is strong?  This week’s BLOG focuses on the impact of Authentic Leadership on knowledge sharing in an organization.


The article is brought to you by, Edú-Valsania, Sergio; Moriano, Juan Antonio; Molero, Fernando, and the title is Authentic leadership and employee knowledge sharing behavior: Mediation of the innovation climate and workgroup identification in Leadership & Organizational Development (2016).


These authors explore the impact of an Authentic Leadership on creating the conditions for knowledge sharing in an organization. Additionally, they are curious whether Authentic Leadership is an important factor for knowledge sharing when an innovative climate and workgroup identity are present in the organization.


The authors had a great sample of 562 Spanish workers. This is a nice size sample. The Spanish sample is influenced by their culture differently than a typical English speaking sample. For example, Hispanic cultures are more collectivist in nature. Meaning they are more likely to feel pressure to fit in with the larger group and thus adjust the behavior to not be the square peg in a round hole. Whereas, in the U.S., they are more individualistic, and are taught that competition is more important than collaboration. Resulting in individuals focused on those closest to them. The reason that this is important is that it can have an unintended impact on the group identity and thus, mute the heighten the impact in this particular sample.

The authors did a simple multiple regression analysis, where they evaluate all the concepts at once to see how Authentic Leadership impacts innovation, group identity, and knowledge sharing. Essentially a series of ‘if-then’ statements.


The results are pretty straightforward. They find that if a leader is perceived as authentic, then knowledge sharing increases in the organization. When they factor in the impact of innovative climate, knowledge sharing is flowing at an even higher rate. In fact, an innovative climate is so important for knowledge sharing that it almost made the presence of Authentic Leadership not a factor for knowledge sharing to occur.

The impact of workgroup identity was less relevant in creating a knowledge sharing environment. It had an impact, but Authentic Leadership also plays an important part in the process of sharing information.


Well, rocket scientist, we need not! Sharing knowledge is a fundamental building block inside an organization that creates the conditions for growth, collaboration, and a healthy corporate culture. This study, at least in a Spanish context, indicates that employees’ perceptions of their leader’s matter. Specifically, whether the leader behaves in an authentic manner. In terms of knowledge sharing, the authentic the leader the more information is shared. The more innovative the climate, more information is shared, and the stronger the group identity, you guessed it, the more information is shared.


The idea of knowledge sharing is not new. Often we work in highly competitive environments where we feel that any bit of information you have is owned by you and is instantly put into a vault. You feel that it may give you a competitive advantage or make you indispensable. Thus, partaking in a form of knowledge hoarding. However, this is just stupid. This philosophy is coming from a weak and fragile perspective that is completely Machiavellian and shortsighted. many leaders ignore the concept of the wisdom of the crowds as a key mechanism for creating a healthy vibrant work environment.

So, what do you do with this bit of information?  As a leader, you can set the tone by encouraging sharing. I often say to one of my four kids, ‘sharing is caring’, so give it a go. Another way is to create more space for curiosity meetings. These are meetings where you or someone on your team share something they are curious about in the business or beyond. Could you create more space in the organization for having each person on your team go off an learn new skills that are transferable to others on the team? Finally, engage in any activities that allow the trust to build through the process of knowledge sharing.

Remember you spend on average 84,000 hours at work in a lifetime….that is a lot of time perhaps not being the best version of yourself.

To learn more great ways to become a better leader check out my book The Crucible’s Gift ( or stop by one of my stops on the forthcoming book tour: .

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3 Habits of Successful People – Millionaire Habits

In this video, you’ll learn about the 3 habits of successful people. Success is a lot about what you do daily rather than what you do once in a while. It’s your daily habits, choices and rituals that either bring you closer to where you want to be or further away.

Through understanding some of the most powerful habits embraced by highly successful individuals, I want to share 3 habits with you that have played an instrumental role in my own journey. There are others, but these are the 3 that come to mind first when I reflect on my personal journey.

I’d also love to hear what habits have helped take you to where you are today in the comments below 🙂

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With International Women’s Day upon us once again, it is difficult not to be wowed by the continuing success of Female Leaders. It is inspiring to note this phenomena but what are the common characteristics they tend to exhibit and what can we make of this?

Here are my Top 10 traits for every aspiring Female Leaders to seek to emulate. You will recognise some of these in yourself already as well as others that you will be keen to nurture as you grow:

1.      Ambition

Female Leaders cannot afford to look back or have room for doubt when it comes to achieving. Aim high from the outset and display this through your hunger and self-belief. Be confident, persistent and relentless. Have a clear vision, always focussing on the next steps and how to achieve it.

2.      Emotional Intelligence

Female Leaders have the propensity to demonstrate this intelligence in droves and can use this for great benefit for themselves and their organisations. Be aware of your emotions and the emotions of others. Gain a good understanding of how you are perceived by others and allow this to influence your decision making.

3.      Self-Recognition

It may not be clear to others what sacrifices you have had to make along the way or the challenges you have had to overcome to get there! So celebrate the steps in getting towards your goals. It is not all about shouting from the roof-tops but taking time to acknowledge your success and exercise gratitude to encourage a positive mindset.

4.      Resilience

You may encounter many obstacles when aiming high but the true test will be how you recover from setbacks and perceived failures. Knockbacks that don’t kill you, make you stronger. Use them positively as a learning curve and take lessons from things that do not go to plan. Never give up, you cannot afford to. Grit is a powerful advantage to have in any business.

5.      Inspiration

Female Leaders are proving to be icons in this space. Take on the responsibility to inspire others. If you take this on as a Female Leader, not only are you fulfilling an admirable duty but you will also motivate others while providing yourself with an even greater sense of purpose.

6.      Courage

True leaders are fearless and embrace change. Lack of certainty should not phase you, it should spur you on! Understand that you cannot be comfortable if you want to grow in a meaningful way.

7.      Stress Tolerance

Accept that stress is an inevitable bi-product of success (and failure). Female Leaders may be more inclined to feel that they cannot let their guard down in this regard which is why it is even more important to identify early what the triggers are and find solutions to minimise these using methods that work for you.

8.      Self-Discipline

Successful Female Leaders have to balance their fair share of mundane tasks together with the more glamorous! Good daily habits are essential in helping to remain organised so that you can feel fulfilled. This may entail sticking to certain routines, diet, exercise, sleep routines and relaxation time. Balance is key.

9.      Assertiveness

All leaders require assertiveness but Female Leaders have to turn this into an art to make it work effectively for them. Go about your business in a fair but firm and non-defensive manner. When required, pick your battles wisely and always let the rational override the emotional. It is always endearing if you are prepared to be humbled as a leader.

10.  Self-Improvement

Constantly strive to better your present self without being overly self-critical as others will probably do that for you better than you can! Value your personal development and consider being professionally coached but also seek out a mentor that will champion you. To be effective on this, be bold and press on successful colleagues in your organisation to propel yourself. Evaluate yourself, identify your strengths and areas you may need to develop and always better yourself.

As an executive coach I help professional women develop and strengthen these traits to enable them to uncover their full potential.  Please get in touch with me should you wish to work on these traits and enhance your career or business.

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Simon Alexander Ong

Simon Alexander Ong

Life Coach & Business Strategist

Everything that Simon Alexander Ong does is built around inspiring people to see their world differently and igniting their imagination of what is truly possible so that they can live meaningful, purposeful and extraordinary lives. From a young age, Simon has always been curious about learning and exploring the areas of personal fulfilment, human potential and organisational success. This curiosity was accelerated following his departure from the financial industry, in which he began his career in following graduation from the London School of Economics. Studying the mindset and habits of successful leaders and organisations, Simon enjoys distilling his insights into lessons that can be easily understood and codifying the key principles that have had the biggest impact. He shares his insights, lessons and wisdom with all who are committed to upgrading their life and business to that next level. He speaks at international events, conferences and corporate events that have included those organised by Google, O2, London School Of Economics, Barclays UK, The Institute Of Directors, Virgin, Salesforce, 10 Downing Street, Natwest, Enterprise Nation and Microsoft.

As a life coach and business strategist, Simon also helps leaders, entrepreneurs, organisations and celebrities to transcend perceived limitations and experience extraordinary transformations through the power of insight, perspective and energy management. Simon’s views, from his work as a coach and speaker, has seen him featured in a wide range of publications that include the likes of The Financial Times, Women’s Health, HuffPost, Cosmopolitan, Forbes, Virgin StartUp and Harvard Business Review. He has also been interviewed on BBC Radio London, LBC Radio’s Business Hour and for a Barclays UK nationwide ad campaign.

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