In my role as a burnout advisor and coach, I hear countless stories of people’s struggle with burnout, and one aspect I am seeing quite a spike in the cause of their burnout, is the environment where they work.

Work demands are getting worse, and it’s been this way since the last recession of 2008/09. If you have forgotten that time period, let me open up an old wound for you.

After the recession took out many companies and downsized tons of organizations, those that survived and kept their jobs discovered a new world of more work responsibilities and less coworkers.

In the past, as companies recovered from economic downturns, they would bring on more staff.

This edition of post recession didn’t film that scene.

As work demands kept increasing, with extended work access (aka constantly getting emails and texts from the boss), our work days are longer than before.

When the state of New York has to create legislation to restrict email access to employees after normal working hours, you know there’s a problem.

Accessing employee when they should be living their life instead of working is bad enough. However, there’s a bigger problem that’s happening across organizations around the world.

Toxic management.

Bad managers are everywhere. If you’re reading this and you’re nodding, my hunch is that you have a bad manager in your world.

These managers often are poster child narcissists, pointing the finger at employees for mistakes, when they don’t let employees breathe or ask questions for clarification.

57% of employees surveyed state they don’t get clear direction from their management.

No wonder the employees are making mistakes.

Companies that make mistakes make inferior products and services. This could be dangerous to consumers.

Again, management is the cause.

Why are these managers so bad? Why are they praising employees in one breath, and then listing 6 things the employees are screwing up?

Besides being narcissistic morons, these managers were likely never trained how to be a manager.

Would you get on an airplane if the pilot wasn’t trained on how to be a pilot?

Then why do companies put people into leadership roles without any training?

It’s asinine, and it needs to stop.

How do we fix this growing epidemic of bad management, that leads to burnout in companies?

  • Train the managers how to manage. There’s no shortage of companies that can help. PreEmptive Strike Consulting (PESC) is one that does a great job (shameless plug)
  • Be crystal clear to the manager they (currently) aren’t good, but you want to help them. If they don’t agree, fire them right then. Your bottom line is being impacted by bad managers.
  • Fire bad managers. Don’t string them along, don’t try to fix them by having team meetings to “clear the air”. If HR knows the manager sucks, dehire that manager now.
  • Seek feedback from employees. Robust surveys such as the free PESC resource will give organizations clarity on what’s really going on in your company.

When employees have to suffer from bad management for prolonged periods of time, chronic stress and burnout will occur.

Burnout ruins relationships, your health and well being. It can be prevented.

If you need help with burnout recovery or prevention , schedule a free call with someone that had significant burnout, lost it all, and rebuilt his life.


  • Michael Levitt

    Chief Burnout Officer

    Breakfast Leadership, Inc.

    Michael Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of Breakfast Leadership, Inc,, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout prevention firm. He is a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, and is one of the world's leading authorities in burnout recovery and prevention.  He is also a Fortune 500 consultant, #1 bestselling author, and host of the Breakfast Leadership Show, a top 200 podcast on iTunes. He is a 2x Top 20 Global Thought Leader on Culture with Thinkers360. He is a former Healthcare executive, CIO, and CFO overseeing $ 2 Billion budgets, so he’s seen and done it all.
    His main keynotes are:
    1. Burnout Prevention: How To Avoid Your Own Year of Worst-Case Scenarios 2. Workplace Culture: Create A Workplace That People Will Beg To Work With 3. Working Remotely With Boundaries: How To Accomplish More At Home, Without Burning Out