The Hidden Epidemic of C-Suite Executive Burnout

Have you ever found yourself questioning the relentless pace of your leadership role, feeling as though everyday chips away a bit more of your resilience and zest for work?

You’re not alone. Across Australia, a silent epidemic is unfolding within the ranks of our most senior executives, an issue so pervasive yet so often overlooked: executive burnout.

Recent studies, including a comprehensive survey by Deloitte in partnership with Workplace Intelligence, have revealed startling statistics: nearly 70% of CSuite executives are on the brink of leaving their highpowered positions for roles that prioritise their wellbeing. It’s a clear signal that the demands on leaders are not just unsustainable but detrimental to their health and effectiveness.

But what does executive burnout look like?

It’s more than just a bad day at the office. Symptoms include feeling isolated or trapped, irritability, a noticeable dip in motivation or energy, satisfaction with work plummeting, exhaustion, procrastination, disengagement from previously valued work, and sleep disturbances. These are warning signs that cannot and should not be ignored.

The Australian HR Institute (AHRI) supports this concern, revealing that 68.5% of Australian workers feel on the verge of burnout, with those in leadership roles reporting higher rates than their team members. This data paints a concerning picture of the workplace, highlighting a critical need for intervention.

Executive coaching isn’t just about sharpening business acumen; it’s a personalised tool that can guide leaders through the complexities of their roles while maintaining their wellbeing. An executive coach works to identify the early signs of burnout, helping to implement strategies that not only combat these symptoms but also build resilience against the unique pressures faced by those at the top.

Why is this relevant now more than ever? The answer lies in the shifting priorities of the workforce. According to the same Deloitte survey, 68% of employees and an astonishing 81% of Csuite executives now place a higher value on improving their wellbeing over career advancement. This pivot towards health and happiness signals a profound change in how success is defined and achieved within the corporate sphere.

Executive coaching offers a tailored approach to navigating the challenges of leadership, focusing on sustainable performance without sacrificing personal wellbeing. Coaches work closely with executives to foster a deeper understanding of their own drivers and barriers, enhancing emotional intelligence and developing strategies for effective stress management and decisionmaking. This personalised support is crucial for leaders feeling depleted, providing them with the tools to rediscover their purpose and passion for their roles.

The evidence is clear: ignoring the signs of burnout can lead to diminished personal health and professional effectiveness. Yet, with the right support, such as executive coaching, leaders can learn to balance the demands of their roles with their personal wellbeing. This balance is not just beneficial; it’s essential for the sustained success of both the individual and the organisation.

The pace of change in large organisations is relentless, and the pressure on leaders is intense; recognising the signs of burnout and taking proactive steps to address them is crucial.

Executive coaching provides the opportunity for leaders to thrive, not just survive, in their roles. For Australian executives, prioritising your wellbeing is not just an act of selfcare; it’s a strategic imperative for lasting success.

Let’s look at a case study.

After years of hard work, pressure and bullying by her male superiors in her executive level, corporate job, Claire* engaged my services. The stress she was experiencing was not sustainable, and her doctor feared it would result in serious illness. As the oldest of three kids, Claire had always put a lot of pressure on herself to set a good example and perform.

After our first session, Claire felt more centred and present. Her friends, not aware of her coaching, made remarks like, “You have your spark back.” After completing our time together, Claire’s career has taken extraordinary strides. Despite the added responsibilities, Claire remains calm with a strong sense of self belief, and she knows exactly how to handle situations like the ones she was faced with.

I am a passionate believer in evidence based, interactive, actionable steps to level up and restore confidence and add a dash of fun for good measure.

The executive coaching programs I have on offer are perfect for people who want to amp up their performance, transition to a new career, or improve their mental health.

Let’s chat about performing at your peak!


Note: we have changed the names and circumstances of the Case studies mentioned to protect the anonymity of our clients.  

About Sally

As a former international opera singer, Sally Wilson knows a thing or two about being at the top of your field. And she’s discovered first-hand what it feels like to step away from the spotlight and lose your identity.

Through coaching, Sally helps her clients let go of their self-sabotaging beliefs and discover freedom, joy and fulfillment. As an accredited TRTP™ practitioner, Sally uses evidence-based practices to create changes that are quick, safe and lasting.

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