Healthy Leaders


Addressing Signs of Leadership Fatigue

Chuck LawlessChuck Lawless

Previously, I posted on “13 Signs of Leadership Fatigue.” Several readers asked me to write a follow-up post about ways to deal with these signs. Maybe these suggestions will help you move past leadership fatigue.

  1. Living by a “get me through the day” philosophy – You may begin the day with prayer, but surviving the day is your prayer theme.
  1. Losing vision – Fatigued leaders don’t consider vision beyond the end of this workday.
  1. Developing poor sleep patterns – The patterns may vary, but in any case, you’re exhausted.
  1. Declining spiritual disciplines – Weariness leaves little room for anything like Bible study and prayer that requires “discipline.”
  1. Repeating lessons and sermons – Finding something in the file is much less draining than the hard work of praying about and developing a sermon or lesson.
  1. Faking joy and excitement – Few actions are more exhausting than pretending to have joy you don’t have.
  1. Frustrating family members – Leaders who fight to get through the day often dump on their family when they get home.
  1. Magnifying minors – What seemed insignificant last month is unexpectedly huge when we’re tired.
  1. Failing to return emails and phone calls – Weary leaders tend to delay responding to others, if they choose to respond at all.
  1. Misdirecting affections – When nothing they do brings joy, fatigued leaders sometimes turn to others for affirmation.
  1. Decreasing exercise – Professional and emotional fatigue quickly lead to physical tiredness. Exercise becomes that much more difficult.
  1. Focusing on a “grass is greener” syndrome – Every other role, it seems, is suddenly better than our current one.
  1. Avoiding people who speak truth – When we know we’re tired of leading, it’s just easier to avoid people who know us well enough to recognize the problem.

What other suggestions do you have?

This article was originally published at on May 21, 2015. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and seven grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at

Are you interested in writing for Head on over to our Write for Us page to submit an article!