On this episode of Peak Performance Leadership, join host Scott McCarthy as he delves into the topic of burnout and exploitation. Scott has extensively researched this issue and is passionate about finding solutions. Together with the audience, he aims to tackle this pervasive problem head-on.

Scott begins by advising against abruptly quitting a job without communication. Instead, he suggests having a conversation with your supervisor to address concerns about time limitations and breaches of agreements regarding work hours and expectations. Saying no to unreasonable demands is another important step, and if necessary, considering taking your skills to another organization that aligns better with your values.

Scott highlights the competitive environment organizations face in finding exceptional employees and encourages listeners to assess whether their current organization truly values their well-being. He stresses the importance of taking breaks to prevent burnout and announces the upcoming registration for the leader growth mastermind program.

If you find yourself feeling exploited or burned out, Scott urges you to take action now. Remember, it’s essential to prioritize your own well-being and not be a boss to yourself. Join us on this episode of Peak Performance Leadership to learn valuable insights and strategies for thriving in the workplace.

Tackling Burnout and Exploitation Timestamped Overview

  • 00:01:21 “Podcast explores burnout vs. exploitation in leadership.”
  • 00:11:09 Exploitation of doctors working long hours is harmful.
  • 00:20:20 Don’t quit without communication, express concerns. Say no to unreasonable expectations, consider core values. Take breaks to avoid burnout.
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The following is an AI generated transcript which should be used for reference purposes only. It has not been verified or edited to reflect what was actually said in the podcast episode. 


Scott McCarthy [00:00:00]:

Do you feel burnt out, or are you actually being exploited? That’s a topic which recently came to my attention, and I thought long and heard about it. And then I decided to dig into it. So let’s go tackle that today. Shall we? Are you ready for this? Alright. Let’s do it.

Scott McCarthy [00:01:21]:

Yes. Welcome 1. Welcome all to The Peak Performance Leadership Podcast. It is your chief leadership officer, Scott McCarthy. And thanks for tuning in to this episode today. A super interesting 1 from my standpoint, 1 which a friend of mine sent me an email with a couple of articles in it. And I’ll go ahead and throw those articles in the show notes for you. But nonetheless, here’s the thing. It was all about whether or not you were being burnt out or if you were being exploited. And I was like, wow. That’s an interesting concept. Let’s dive into this a little bit more. So about a month ago, my last solo episode, I talked to all about burn out. Right? And if you want to check that 1 out, you can. Go to episode 2 63 or Lee Builtboss forward slash 263, and you learn all about combating burnout. And I wish I had this email a month ago when I record that episode because we’re basically gonna take these 2 things down and slide them together. So let’s just I was just gonna do a quick recap on what burnout is. And then go into what exploitation is. And talk about the differences of the 2, of course. And then fundamentally wrap it all up with how you can avoid either being exploited or exploiting others. Because that’s really gonna be to focus on today’s episode. Alright. So quick recap on burnout. So burnout is that overall feeling that you have that you’ve worked too hard. You don’t have energy. Your mood is irritable. You longer motivate it. You just feel sluggish, weak, tired. Name it all these different symptoms, and it’s just from prolong on on going stress, anxiety, fatigue, like, mental and physical, and you’re just not taking the breaks to a point where you have all these symptoms that I’ve discussed, and or it can get to the point where it actually impacts your wife, life, So you start withdrawing from your friends, your family to the point where it actually becomes a mental and physical health concern, and that you do need medical attention because of how bad it is. It can lead to depression, It can lead to bouts of mental illness. It can lead to physical illness when you stop taking care of yourself. So you you stop either eating right, so you pile on junk food and start gaining weight. Or the inverse, you just stop eating altogether and you start losing all kinds of weight. And not feeding your body the nutrients that it needs. You’re not sleeping properly, so you’re not getting proper rest. All these things have significant impacts on both your mental and physical health. So to quickly if you suggestions again on combating burnout, just quickly 3 of them. Take regular breaks. Right? Take regular breaks. You have if you have breaks, on your shift, take it. Take your lunch break. Don’t actually eat at your computer or not eat at all and simply work through it. Okay? Take regular breaks. 1 of our mastermind members, Sean, has a walking group in his work that he talks about every week that members at lunchtime get together and they go out and they go for a walk. Fantastic way. To void that burnout. You’re gonna come back. You’re gonna feel refreshed. You took a little mental break. And guess what? You’re actually gonna be more productive than if you had state at the computer the whole time. So take those breaks. Up the nanny of the breaks. Take your freaking hallways, please. You need to get away from time to time. You need to get away. You need to unwind, relax, go to the beach, Drink. Whatever it is you’d like to drink, whether that’s a cevisa or when those fruity drinks with the umbrellas or maybe it’s just water. Don’t care. Just sit by the beach, pool whatever, drink a drink and relax. For god’s sakes, the place will not burn down with out you for 1 week. Don’t answer your phone. Tell people not to respond. Tell people not to contact you. You are going off the grid. Okay? That will help you avoid burnout because it gives you that chance to recharge your batteries much like the brakes do. This case, this is all about simply allowing your body, your mind to rest and relax over the course of a longer duration. Alright? And then the final tip on avoiding burnout is delegating. And this ties into the last point because when you go away on a vacation, delegate your authorities so that you don’t have to be the 1 that does everything all the time. You shouldn’t be the 1 who has to do everything all the time. Alright? Delegate. Drop things off your plate. Enable yourself to look at the strategic long view k? Think about it at that level. So that’s just a few. Ideas and tips on avoiding burning out. Much more much more detailed analysis episode 263. Again, lead, don’t boss, forward slash, 263. Okay. Let’s talk about exploitation or exploiting people now. This is where you as the supervisor or your company takes advantage of its people leading to burning out. Alright? So if you expect your people to work 80 hours a week no matter what, this is exploitation. If you expect your people to agree to overtime every time you approach them on the topic, that is exploiting them. If you walk in with a deadline, which is unreasonable. Like, you need a 40 page report done by the end of the day. And, oh, this is something brand new. That is exploiting them. Okay? Exploitation is where the organization places a immense amount of pressure onto its people to work longer hours, work underdemanding circumstances work beyond what is expected of them, which leads to them burning out. So you can see the difference here now. Burnout is more of an internal thing. Okay? This happens to you. It happens based on your decisions, your actions. Whereas exploitation is something that happens to you. Others are placing this on you. The company organization is placing this on you. And because of that, you end up burning out. Okay? You end up going through that cycle. So I will say that salary people are more likely to be exploited than non salary of people. Why? Because generally speaking with salary people, there is no overtime. Right? So supervisors sometimes feel like they can take advantage of that a little bit more without any change or impacts to the organization. You don’t have to pay people more. They’re salaried. They’re already earning the money. As well, often, salary positions and people their organizations have a culture where you should be dedicated to either the company or the cause. So 1 great example of this is medical doctors. So as a medical doctor, going through their residency training, often these people will work on call for 48 hours straight, sometimes 72 straight at the hospital. This is a example of cultural exploitation. The ideology behind this is that the old generation of doctors simply think that, oh, I went through it. Therefore, you need to go through it. These people are being exploited. 100 percent. This is a cultural thing. K? There is no reason

Scott McCarthy [00:11:07]:

that I know of anyway

Scott McCarthy [00:11:09]:

that a doctor needs to work 48, 72 hours straight without leaving the hospital. Yes. They may have a nap or something on this, but they are literally there at the hospital for that amount of time. K? That is a term way of cultural exploitation. An organization’s exploitation could be, again, of the salary people of oh, you’re not dedicated to this organization. You’re not dedicated to this company. You don’t want it to succeed. You see this in business a lot. People working super long hours. Get the deal done. Got it. You know what? Sometimes, Okay. You have to do it. But if it’s the expectation that occurs all the time, working till 8, 09:10PM when you’re in at 7, 8 ish in the morning, not acceptable. This, again, exploitation, because you are leading people down the road of them putting the work above everything else so that the company or the organization benefits. Alright? Yep. When they’re there, they’re there. And they’re working, they’re 100 percent there to work. Don’t disagree with that. However, if the ex expectation is that They go beyond their normal hours all the time. They go beyond their normal hours for the good of the company. They go beyond their normal hours with no real compensation to, you know, pass it off than they are being exploited. So summary quickly. Burnout is something that happens to you. Again, exploitation is something sorry. Let me rephrase. Burnout as something happens within you. And exploitation is something happens to you. Okay? So, again, in the internal versus external. So if you feel burnt out, maybe you might wanna stop and pause for a second. Or if your people are complaining about burnout, stop and pause for a second. And think about, okay, what is actually causing it. Is it actually burnout, or is it a symptom of the greater issue of exploitation going on? Because that quite possibly could be it. So let’s talk about how we can now combat exploitation And I’m gonna do this from 2 vantage points, I guess, perspectives rather, I should say. And that is 1 u as the exploiter, potential as, like, a supervisor, as a business owner, as a leader within your organization. And then you, as the exploitte, her ex boy did as a just a member of your organization, of your company. And let’s look at them differently because it’s basically different how we want to combat this. So first off, as the exploiter, so first off, you need to recognize that, you know, this is happening, that you are actually contributing to this, maybe not directly, either 1 that is setting the rules or expectations, but maybe you are enabling it. Okay? Especially if you’re middle managers. A lot of middle managers find themselves in this position where they’re forced to enforce the rules and policies and culture and values of the organization. And sometimes you don’t necessarily feel like you are you believe in it or you believe it should be done. So when this occurs, first thing is to question it. You know, is this valid? Is this something, 1, you can legally do? 2, should you morally expect this of someone? So if you expect someone to work onest amounts of hours without any compensation, and it to be the norm is that Lock legal? Is that moral? Is that justifiable? Okay. Next thing is, as you as within this framework and this role is to question whether or not it’s even necessary. Expecting people to work along hours all the time is not a test or a show of dedication or dedication to the cause, but rather poor planning on your behalf to ensure that people have enough time to achieve what they have to achieve within the time expected. So square where you’re planning. Do better planning. K? Plan backwards so that you have a understanding of how long it’s going to take you to achieve the things you need to achieve. And then finally, the thing is is understand the world is constantly changing and that you and your organization need to change with it. The values of today are not the values of yesterday. And our people are demanding more flexibility. They’re demanding flexibility to work at home. They’re demanding flexibility to take vacation time as they actually need it. They’re demanding the flexibility of working off hours and so on. You can either adjust your organizational culture to meet this, or you can get left behind and lose out on the top talent out there because this is the expectations of that top talent. No longer are they expecting or accepting that they have to punch in the hours because That’s what a good worker does, and that is the best for the company. Sure. From time to time, they’ll understand and they’ll accept it. But the other thing is that they do not accept it all the time. So if you’re in a situation where from time to time, you need people to go above and beyond, which is cool, sometimes we need that. Then you need to also be ready and willing to provide it back to your people when they ask for it. So letting them go a little bit early on Fridays, letting them come in a little bit late during the work day. Giving them a little bit extra time off here and there. A little bit more flexibility goes a long way, especially for those salaried people and that showed that you are providing flexibility to meet their demands and their changes. K? That is how you combat exploitation from your standpoint, from the organization standpoint. Now from your standpoint as being the exploited or exploitation is, first off, Challenge it. Challenge those norms in a professional manner. Like, is this something justifiable? Is this something actually legitimate? Or is this just a unwritten expectation that we do this because there’s no real basis for it? Challenge it is also where the quiet quitting comes to effect, I e people just working to the rule because they are tired of being exploited. So I don’t what I don’t want is for you to just quietly quit, I e, not tell tell your supervisor anything, but do your job and then leave at the end of the day. Without any communication. I don’t think that’s a great way forward as a member of a team, but rather here Take this approach. Force your supervisor to prioritize. Boss, I’m leaving at 5 today as per our contract. I have this project and that project on my plate, both of which You said you want it by the end of the day. Both of them can’t be done by the end of the day. So therefore, which 1 do you want by the end of the day?

Scott McCarthy [00:20:17]:

Force your supervisors to prioritize.

Scott McCarthy [00:20:20]:

Even provide recommendations But don’t just quietly quit. Work on something and then disappear without communication. I don’t believe that’s a great way forward. As I said already, I think that is actually childish, but rather have the conversation with your supervisor. Have that conversation. And what that’s going to do is open their eyes to the fact that, 1, you’re not giving enough time to do the tasks that are assigned to you. 2, they are breaching the agreement between you and them regarding hours of work and expectations. And the final thing that you can do to combat expectations, simply say no. No. I’m not working till 10PM with no compensation, no return of the favor, I’m not doing it. Sorry. You can fire me if you like. However, I will take my skills, I will bring them elsewhere, most likely to 1 of your competitors. We’re in a day and age where finding great help is difficult. It’s a extremely difficult for now. The worker competition out there right now is it is — extremely competitive is what I’m trying to say for organizations to get great people. And no doubt you’re a great person. You’re listening to this podcast. You’re trying to develop your skills. You’re hungry for more. You’re a great person. Absolutely. So that tells me that you won’t have a difficult time finding a new job. Keep in mind, if this goes against your core values, then you should check your with yourself to determine whether or not the organization is the right fit for you. Anyway. You wanna make sure the organizational values and, I mean, the value is not the ones that have up on the wall that no 1 reads that aren’t actually true, but rather what they actually value you to do makes sense with and is compatible with your core values. If you don’t know what your core values are, maybe it’s time to figure them out. We have an exercise at the leader growth mastermind where that is 1 of the first things you do when you show up is check out your core values, so that you can have a understanding what they are. And then from there, you can make decisions based off of those core values. So there you have it, folks. Burnout versus exploitation and how to combat exploitation moving forward. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. If you feel like you’re being exploited, if you feel like you’re burning out, if you feel like you’ve been exploiting without even realizing it, then there’s always time to change. There’s always time to do something different, but you need to act now. Need to act now. Alright. Before I wrap up here, I do got a last couple little points for you. And that is as we go into the summer period, I’m actually taking some holidays myself so I don’t burn out. I will fully admit this time of year gets difficult for me to podcast because I’m getting tired. It takes a lot of work to get these shows up, and I am not burning out per se, but I do get run down from it. So I’m taking a few weeks off now, and we’re going to reset Recock, get ready to rock for the late summer and then into the fall. So I’m taking a few weeks of holidays. And then what you can expect is probably a bit of a break in production of shows. May drop 1 episode, more. We’ll see. Depends on if I get the time between now and when I leave for my vacation or not. As well, the leader growth mastermind is going to be closing its doors. So you have until 9 July to sign up. If you don’t sign up before 9 July or by 9 July, I should say, You won’t be able to sign up until probably late August, early September time frame. So I’m closing the doors for a bit. You’ve been interested. It’s the great time to check it out. It’s a great time always to join us. I’ve made mentioned of it a few times now. But clock is ticking. You may have to wait. So 9 July is the deadline to sign up by. After that, we’re gonna close the doors. For registration, and then reopen them in about 6 weeks time or so. So there you go. Alright? That’s it for me, folks. As always, leave. Don’t boss. Take care, and we’ll see you next time.