Burnout of Leaders Final Draft Essay

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Pages: 13

The Burnout of Leaders: Minimizing Burnout through Transformational Leadership
Cherice McCray
Troy University- Dothan

This research was conducted to shed light on leadership behaviors and skills that can help minimize the effects of burnout. Burnout is looked at on three dimensions: (1) Emotional Exhaustion (2) Depersonalization and (3) Personal Accomplishment. This paper will analyze the relationship between transformational leadership, emotional intelligence and burnout. The validity of the relationship of burnout and transformational leadership is measured using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) and the Multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ-5X short).
Keywords: MBI Maslach Burnout Inventory; MLQ-5X Short Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire; Depersonalization; Personal Accomplishment; Emotional Exhaustion.

I. Introduction

Within any organizational structure, leadership is ultimately held responsible for carrying out the organization’s mission. High levels of responsibility contribute to job-related stress is defined as an uncomfortable and undesirable feeling experienced by an individual who is required to deviate from normal or self-desired functioning in the workplace as the result of opportunities, constraints, or demands relating to potentially significant work-related outcomes (Parker and DeCotiis, 1983). Leaders are carrying high levels of responsibility for stretched periods of time eventually experience Burnout. However, Burnout can be minimized if leaders can adopt a leadership style according to Northouse (2013) that raises the level of motivation and morality in both the leader and follower. Adopting a transformational leadership style motivates employees to surpass set goals. However, a leader that effectively motivates his or her followers must also possess high levels of self-awareness, also known as emotional intelligence. I seek to shed light on this unique perspective of minimizing Burnout from learning to adopt different styles and traits. Miniscule information is available on the coupled impact leadership style, and traits have on Burnout components. Hence, the importance of this paper is to delve into why transformational leaders possessing higher levels of emotional intelligence are less susceptible to Burnout.

Literature Review
According to Chauhan (2009) high levels of stress can eventually cause breakdown and exhaustion. Chauhan (2009) goes on to say that it is not the complacent leaders that run the risk of Burnout, but those overachievers that have higher standards and expectations that fall victim to Burnout. Many leaders are unaware of the detrimental impact carrying all of the responsibility does to the body and mind over time. Much like stress burnout is a silent killer. According to Matteson & Ivancevich (1987) Burnout is the peak of an extensive development period and passes through several stages. Burnout is conceptualized by Chauhan (2009) as consisting of the following three components: (1) Emotional Exhaustion- general feelings of hopelessness and loss of concern. Work overload, role conflict, and the lack of effectively coping with stress all contribute to Burnout. (2) Depersonalization- which is the act of creating distance between oneself and people. Work stress, excessive interpersonal interaction, excessive workload and job responsibilities contribute to this second dimension. (3) Personal Accomplishment- are self-induced feelings of low value can be attributed to lack of recognition and positive feedback, feelings of inadequacy or incompetence.
Transformational Leadership
Transformational leadership is a process that changes and transforms people (Northouse, 2013). A transformational leader can motivate followers by sharing their vision and inspiring others to become a part of that change. Transformational leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. continue to inspire followers in…