Avoiding Overwhelm As A Leader

A leader juggles many tasks and responsibilities; a leader also juggles stress and overwhelm.

In fact, stress is almost inevitable in the workplace. However, there are many precautionary measures that aide leaders – as well as employees – in reducing the amount of overwhelm they feel on a daily basis.

Look at the numbers.

Global data collected during 2022 indicates that 41% of senior leaders are stressed and 36% are exhausted. In fact, nearly 70% of senior leaders say burnout is affecting their ability to make decisions and 69% of executives are thinking about quitting because of their wellbeing.

Why It Matters

As a leader, you will feel the responsibility to serve, support with positivity, and have answers to all uncertainties. The pressure, isolation, and weight that come with being at the top can be overwhelming, making things appear hopeless and tough to handle. The burnout symptoms can include emotional exhaustion, detachment, loss of motivation, and reduced efficiency — all of which can have a ripple effect throughout an entire workplace.

Leadership is tough and increasingly demanding. Good leaders understand this and manage their lives to avoid burnout. Sometimes, however, even the best leaders get burned out.

How To Prevent & Combat Leader Overwhelm

Even when they are nearing burnout, some leaders refuse to pause their fast-paced lifestyles and continue down the path of destruction until it is too late. The most successful people, however, have prevented or overcome burnout by following some simple things.

Let’s dive in.

Delegate Tasks

As a leader, delegating tasks to your employees is a great place to start when feeling overwhelmed – and a great tool to adapt for the long haul. Executive coaching considers the ability to delegate essential to successful personal and organizational scaling. By handing responsibilities to others, leaders can hit two birds with one stone.

This is an important practice for more than one reason. Assigning tasks that fit the strengths of your employees will help you focus and lead in a more effective way. Great leaders are able to assign tasks accordingly to the best fit personnel – leading to both success and empowerment all around.

And of course, this isn’t an excuse to hand off unpleasant work to your employees.


Another great step when leader overwhelm sets in is to prioritize the tasks at hand. High priority tasks should be completed first before those of less priority. Tackling tasks by priority will lead to less stress and a more navigational plan of attack.

Avoid Overthinking

It is common when under pressure to spiral into overthinking and questioning. It can be easy to doubt yourself when under such pressure. During this time, seek out opinions from others. Keep moving forward and avoid sitting in the tension for too long.

Be sure that the decisions you do decide to make represent who you are and the values you aim to live into.


Leaders may bury themselves in work and responsibilities to a point where they see no way out of their situations. By stopping, stepping back and reassessing their work, they gain a bird’s eye perspective on what they’re dealing with. From there, they begin to understand how and where they could change.

Change how you look at things, and the things you look at begin to adapt.

Take Care Of Yourself

Self care is not a new concept, but it can be easily overlooked by leaders. In leadership, learning to unwind is an essential skill that can ease leader overwhelm.

Leadership coaching sees the concept of self-care as central to healthy, sustainable, intelligent leadership. Leaders who neglect this side of the leadership equation rob themselves of basic tools they’ll need to develop and sustain their leadership competencies.

If you find yourself under constant stress about your work, you’re close to burning out. Winding down can help you manage stress and view your work from a different perspective.


Acknowledging the causes of burnout, unlearning bad habits, and recommitting to work-life balance may take a little effort, but it is well worth it in the long run.

Dealing with leader overwhelm is an essential leadership skill. Through effective executive coaching, leaders within companies can adapt to everyday road bumps and help reduce overwhelm.

At Converge we specialize in executive coaching for leaders of all kinds. Through this type of coaching, leaders are able to learn skills and techniques that equip them to avoid situations like being in a  perpetual state of overwhelm. Reach out to us today and schedule a Discovery Call to learn more about our professional coaching options. We look forward to collaborating with you!