Burned Out or Just Bored?

Jeffrey Kindler’s surprise announcement this week that he was stepping down as Pfizer Inc.’s CEO caught people’s eye because of the reason he said he was leaving: The job, he said, had burned him out.

By all accounts, Kindler was under real strain. Pfizer faced a number of business challenges, including some major R&D failures. He worked grueling hours. And “he was becoming increasingly frazzled,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

Peter Drucker certainly understood the tremendous pressure that top executives are under. “There is constant pressure on every CEO to do a little bit of everything,” he wrote. “That makes everybody happy but guarantees that there are no results.”

[EXPAND More]But Drucker also believed that, many times, burnout results mainly from inertia. “When you begin to fall into a pleasant routine,” he asserted, “it is time to force yourself to do something different. ‘Burnout,’ much of the time, is a cop-out for being bored.”

Drucker’s advice: When you find you have no energy left, try “repotting yourself.” Get out of the office more. Become a volunteer. Make sure you learn something new. “Precisely because you are overworked,” Drucker wrote, “you need the extra—and different—stimulus to put different parts of yourself to work, both physically and mentally.”

So, what do you think: Are more people these days stressed by overwork, or simply bored by their jobs?[/EXPAND]

Burned out or just bored?