In this episode, host Tim Reitsma is joined by Mia Baytop Russell—a Faculty Member at Johns Hopkins University and co-author of Fired Up!: A guide to transforming your team from burnout to engagement—to talk about how to transform your team from burnout to engagement.
- Mia is a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University. Her work focuses on leadership and management. Prior to this she was focused on financial and consumer well-being, and helping families and communities achieve an optimal quality of life. [2:02]
- Mia and her co-author Dr. Girvin Liggans were surprised that much of what exists on the topic of burnout makes it the fault of the employee. They asked the question: how might it be the employee’s fault when there are so many levers that the organization can affect? [3:44]
- We often talk about burnout as a badge of honor, but academically, burnout is exhaustion, cynicism and not feeling really accomplished or confident about your work. [4:24]
- OJP (Organizational, job-related, personal side of work) — these are factors that organizations can support to mitigate burnout. [4:44]
- Quiet quitting isn’t new. In the past it may have been called “presenteeism”. It’s people doing their job but not going above and beyond. We want people to exceed expectations which is why there is a negative connotation with it. [6:17]
- Freudenberger was the first person to describe staff burnout in 1974. And so burnout has been characterized as a workplace phenomenon. [8:01]
Burnout isn’t simply fatigue or frustration, feelings of overwhelm, or feelings of anxiety. Rather, those might be symptoms of burnout. Burnout is a workplace phenomenon that is a result of chronic and unmanaged stress.Mia Baytop Russell
- Burnout is contagious. This is why leaders should care about burnout. [10:22]
- Burnout may spread through an organization and others may have to pick up the slack. Cynicism can weigh on you and make you question what you see. Someone sharing their cynicism will eventually weigh on those they work with. [11:12]
- Mia shared 3 things leaders can do to manage burnout. [12:55]
- Tap into and harness your team’s motivation.
- Become a burnout risk manager. Know the signs and symptoms and help others know the signs and symptoms so there can be an intervention.
- Build a culture of self-care. It’s central to building happy, healthy, and productive workplaces.
High-quality relationships built on trust will allow leaders and employees to have true conversations about what’s working and what isn’t.Mia Baytop Russell
- Mia did a lot of research around burnout and engagement and found that the two are relatives. [14:31]
- People come into the workplace with energy, involvement, and efficacy. [14:50]
- Challenging job demands are things that intellectually stimulate your team and get them excited to give more. Whereas, hindrance job demands are things that are draining. [15:21]
- Engagement can be a dedication to the work, team, or organization that causes the employee to be fired up. Or that dedication can become cynicism. [16:00]
- Efficacy is the confidence that you can do your job well, which makes it easy to be absorbed into your work. [16:27]
- From an individual perspective, it’s about self-care strategies and creating boundaries. Identifying what boundaries need to be established and what work-life balance and integration mean to you. [21:11]
- Work-life balance or integration comes down to leaders and managers identifying some of the risk factors and job demands that begin to be unmanaged or chronic, and trying to find ways to reduce the significance or the weightiness of those demands. [22:01]
- How might we motivate our teams? Help them regain focus on the purpose of the work—that’s a huge motivator. Help your team to take breaks. Enforce the idea of micro breaks. Encourage them to take their PTO. [22:43]
Burnout is the organization’s problem, but not the organization’s fault. The good news is that you have the ability to change it. Burnout can be mitigated.Mia Baytop Russell
Meet Our Guest
Mia Baytop Russell, PhD has served in various roles across nonprofit, academic, and corporate sectors. Currently, as lecturer in the Center for Leadership Education at Johns Hopkins University, she teaches leadership and management courses. Drawing from personal interests and challenges with work-life integration and work-family conflict, Mia has spent decades exploring well-being in multiple contexts. Her research focuses on the sustainability of well-being, specifically family economic well-being and career/work-related well-being. As a contributor to the field of financial education and organizational behavior, Mia has published dozens of interdisciplinary articles, developed programs, and consulted with organizations.
I don’t see leadership as a role, although it can be. Leadership is more of a state of being or kind of this engagement and participation in this process.Mia Baytop Russell
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- Mia’s book: Fired Up!: A guide to transforming your team from burnout to engagement
Related articles and podcasts:
- About the People Managing People podcast
- How To Identify, Pre-empt, And Deal With Workplace Burnout?
- What Is Organizational Development + Why Startups Should Care?
- Hybrid Working: What Is It And How To Approach It
- Build A Better World Of Work By Trusting Your Employees
- Improving Work-Life Balance While WFH: 12 Tips For Teams And Orgs
Read the Transcript:
We’re trying out transcribing our podcasts using a software program. Please forgive any typos as the bot isn’t correct 100% of the time.
Mia Baytop Russell: But when we think about what burnout isn't, I guess it isn't simply fatigue or frustration, feelings of overwhelm or feelings of anxiety, or some people have referred to it as a resiliency deficit. I don't think that is what burnout is, but rather, those might be symptoms of burnout, right? And so burnout is this workplace phenomenon that is a result of chronic and unmanaged stress.
Tim Reitsma: Welcome to the People Managing People podcast. We're on a mission to build a better world of work and to help you create happy, healthy, and productive workplaces. I'm your host, Tim Reitsma!
Let me ask you a question: is there a way to transform your team, your people, from a state of burnout to a state of being fired up and engaged? Mia Baytop Russell holds a PhD in organizational leadership and is a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University. And she also co-authored a book on this very topic called "Fired Up!: A guide to transforming your team from burnout to engagement".
As leaders and managers, this may be hard to hear, but perhaps it's our fault that our teams are burnt out. We haven't explored the job areas that may be causing burnout, or we haven't had conversations with our people about how they're truly doing. If you're looking for team transformation insights and actions, this episode is for you. And those who know me, I say fired up way too often, but I gotta say it one more time.
I'm really fired up about this episode, and I hope you are too. So stay tuned!
Welcome to the People Managing People podcast, Mia. It's great to have you here. And before we hit record, I was joking about how many times am I gonna say I'm fired up, which is a title of your book, but it's also something I say far too often here at People Managing People.
So I'm just, I'm fired up to have you on the show.
Mia Baytop Russell: Yeah. I'm, we can say it together then during this podcast. I'm happy to be here with you and I appreciate the opportunity.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. Before we get into it, I would love for you just to introduce yourself. Who are you, what's top of mind for you these days?
Mia Baytop Russell: Well, I'm Mia Baytop Russell. I am currently a lecturer at Johns Hopkins University.
My work at Hopkins focuses on leadership and management. So I teach primarily undergrads and graduate students leadership management. Pre this role, really much of my life focused on financial education and financial wellbeing. So in general, I come, I am a family and consumer sciences professional, and that work my entire career or body of work has really been around helping individuals, families, and communities kind of achieve a optimal quality of life.
Tim Reitsma: Wow.
Mia Baytop Russell: Right. Whether this is in their personal budgets and their families or at work, that is really who I am and had all of my work centers on that.
Tim Reitsma: It's such an important topic. I mean, it's not a topic that, you know, just something that we need to be talking about today, but you know, tomorrow and in the future, and teaching our kids that financial literacy, but also helping communities with this. So, that's phenomenal.
And so you're at Johns Hopkins University and you wrote a book.
Mia Baytop Russell: Yes.
Tim Reitsma: Tell us about this journey of the book. Tell us a little bit about the book, and I'm curious by nature and I'm curious about the journey of writing this book.
Mia Baytop Russell: Okay. That'll, this will be fun. So, I have co-authored a book with Dr. Girvin Liggans. He and I met in graduate school. And so for over a decade I think it is now, we debate it almost everything, but a lot around topics of organizational development, kind of, the things that are important, individual and organizational factors that make the organization work well.
We talked a lot about burnout, organizational commitment, turnover, and we always had were surprised that much of what you hear and see around burnout tends to make it the fault of the employee.
Right? When we realize there are so many like organizational levers that management, leadership and organizational policies and procedures can affect, how might it be the employee's fault that they are experiencing burnout? And so, we look at this with some kind of, we understand the social construct, right?
We often talk about burnout almost as a badge of honor, right? We're so tired and stressed from work. How busy are you at work? Right? We talk about it in that way, but we also recognize that academically, burnout is about exhaustion and cynicism and not feeling really accomplished or confident about your work.
And so we created a framework that we call the "organization job personal aspect" or OJP, right? We look at the organizational job related and personal aspects of work. And there is a way that these different factors or layers of an organization can work together to support wellbeing and engagement and really mitigate burnout.
So during the pandemic, to kinda get to the first part of your question, during the pandemic, while we had talked about this for a while, we had some time to really think about it. And this is what, every time you turned on the news, right? This is what people were talking about, stress, burnout. There were multiple studies and surveys going around and so we decided to finally put pen to paper. And here we have Fired Up!
Tim Reitsma: Yes. Fired Up!: A Guide to Transforming Your Team from Burnout to Engagement. And it's such, well, this is a very timely topic. There's so much going on in our landscapes, whether it's political, economic, whether there's job uncertainty, all these factors, personal and professional way into burnout.
And kinda leads into the first question, the first kinda train of thought. The first thing that comes up in this is quiet quitting. And I know this is a phrase that has become popularized over the last while. I believe quiet quitting's been around forever for a long time. I think I quietly quit a job, you know, 25 years ago, and I just didn't know it was quiet quitting.
But why are so many people quiet quitting? And how does that relate to burnout? Is there a relation to it?
Mia Baytop Russell: Yeah. So I agree with you that quiet quitting isn't necessarily new. We probably would've called it, and many of your HR leaders out there would call it presenteeism.
Right? You're showing up for work but maybe not fully involved, right? Perhaps we can look at it as disengagement, but the way that I have, you know, based on what I've read around quiet quitting, it's really people doing their job and not going over, above, and beyond.
I think we kind of focus on, or we want employees to exceed expectations and that's why I think there's a negative connotation, but people are tired, right? The pandemic provided an opportunity for people to reevaluate their relationship with work. You know, am I doing what I want to do?
You know, is it rewarding? Am I making a difference? Do I like leaving home? Do I need to leave home? Right? All of these questions were people had time to think about those questions and reevaluate how they wanted to work and where they wanted to work.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah, I agree with that. I think it's one of the things of the pandemic and whether it's a gift or not, it helped us, employees. It helped every employee. Maybe I'm generalizing but thinking about, you know, why am I here? Am I doing what gets me excited? Is there other opportunities elsewhere? Because the, you know, if you could only get a job in your hometown, now all of a sudden there's hundreds and hundreds of remote jobs.
And so the, it just broadened it. And, but back to like quiet quitting and transforming your team from that state of burnout, what causes that burnout? So we talked about quiet quitting on the employee side, but also let's dive a little deeper into, you know, what causes burnout in the workplace primarily?
Mia Baytop Russell: Yeah. So I'd like to take a step back, right? And talk about what burnout is and oftentimes I think it's helpful to think about what burnout isn't, right? So burnout is relatively new when we think about Freudenberger in 1974 was the first person to describe staff burnout. And so burnout has been characterized as a workplace phenomenon all alone.
But when we think about what burnout isn't, I guess it isn't simply fatigue or frustration, feelings of overwhelm or feelings of anxiety, or some people have referred to it as a resiliency deficit. I don't think that is what burnout is, but rather, those might be symptoms of burnout. Right?
And so burnout is this workplace phenomenon that is a result of chronic and unmanaged stress. And so when demands exceed resources, in fact, we like to use this illustration of a stovetop pressure cooker in our book.
Right? Where the demands, if we think about this pot, right, the demands are the heat. We are the food that's cooking. The pot is the work environment and that pressure relief valve is what we may call resources, right? That helps to reduce the pressure in that work environment. And so with a buildup or chronic, unmanaged stressors, job demands, people become exhausted, right? This is kind of the first phase.
You become exhausted physically, emotionally, then become cynical. And then finally that it kind of, if we think of a snowballing effect then there is this reduced professional efficacy is what we call it academically or this feeling of not really making any contribution or being valued at work, not feeling like your work matters.
uh, We like to, you know, and a way I guess, or in other words, we might say that this is a person stumbling through or weighed down by a lot of pressure, stumbling through some self-doubt and feeling bad about the contribution that they're making at work, right? That's what that could look like.
But we think it's even, it goes further than that. Or what's worse is that because of these feelings, a person doesn't bring their best self to work. And when you think about all of the behaviors and attitudes that might be exhibited from this type of person, burnout is contagious. And so this is why leaders and those that work with leaders, right?
And those that do any type of organizational development work to create the, a better culture, they should really care about burnout.
Tim Reitsma: There's a couple things in there that, that have really peaked my interest and it's unmanaged stress. I love that illustration of the pressure cooker. You know, that the heat were in there, that relief. Burnout is contagious.
And walk me through that a little bit. I've never thought of it like that, that burnout is contagious. So, you know, if I'm sitting here and I'm feeling burnt out, how might that spread through the organization?
Mia Baytop Russell: Well, when we think about what a person looks like, feels like, or is experiencing what they may convey, right?
They're tired. They don't have any energy zest or zeal about doing their work. They may not be performing as well, and then others on the team have to pick up the slack. Cynicism, I think that's real, right? So having a conversation with the cynic, it might be funny if they're a comedian, but outside of that, it can start to weigh on you, right? It makes you question the things that you see.
And if someone is feeling, you know, doubting their contribution or their overall performance, it is you know, I think that is shared, right? They share this, they're complaining.
And all of those things starts to weigh on others that they work with. In the same way that we know an engaged person can fire up, know, no pun intended, can fire up other people on the team inverse is true as well.
Tim Reitsma: I completely agree with that. Know, if, if I, or if we, you know, in our, even in our personal circles, surround ourselves with people that are like us, that don't challenge us, that are feeding into that maybe negative energy. It spreads around. Same within the workplace.
Another question that just pops in my mind is, wow, like leaders, leaders have such an important role, like managers have such an important role in this. And now that we're hybrid, remote, you know, some people are still, are going back to the office now. We may not be attuned to this or tuned into this state of burnout, especially this contagious state of burnout.
So what is my role as a leader? What is our roles as managers in this and how do we approach it?
Mia Baytop Russell: Yeah, I think there are three things I'd probably start with, right? First is really tapping into or harnessing your team's motivation. It is possible for us to help motivate others.
The second would be what we in our book term be a burnout or become a burnout risk manager like know the signs and symptoms and perhaps help others know the signs and symptoms so that there can be some intervention.
And certainly we could talk about this more any areas of it. And thirdly would be to build a culture of self-care.
So when you talk about, I know your podcast is about helping these build happy, healthy, and productive workplaces, right? Self-care is, I think, is at central to that. And that might simply be starting with trusting and high quality relationships, right? So high quality relationships built on trust will allow a leader and employees to have true conversations about what's working and what isn't. And to that and I guess further what else they might need. Right? There are small things that we can do to affirm our team.
Tim Reitsma: So we've talked about what burnout is, some of the signs, symptoms of burnout. We've talked about the managers and leaders role in burnout, but how do we then shift from burnout to, well, engagement? Or how do we transform our teams from that, that burnout state to being fired up, being excited about what they're doing?
Mia Baytop Russell: Yeah. I think that is the question, right? And we look, you know, I mentioned we did a lot of research in burnout as well as engagement, a lot of organizational factors. And what we see is that, it's a double edged sword, right? The burnout and engagement are, let's call them relatives, right?
So people come into the workplace and they come with energy, involvement, and efficacy, right? This can either be fostered or inhibited, right? If that energy is fostered, it can turn into vigor, right? If that energy they feel drained, it turns into exhaustion. And so in this way, the same factors can either help build an engagement in your team or foster burnout.
And so some examples of this might be.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah, I'd love to hear some examples.
Mia Baytop Russell: So work, let's say you know, even if we talk about stress or job demands, right? We all, job demands are a way of work, right? There is going to be demands that you're required to do, right? But things like stretch assignments are what we call challenging demands.
They are the things that intellectually stimulate your team that get them excited about, you know, giving more. It can be an opportunity for growth. A hindrance job demand is something that then is draining, right? It doesn't have the same benefit. So that is an area or an example of how energy can be a positive thing or negative.
When we think about involvement, when we talk about engagement, that involvement can look like dedication, right? So, you know, again, no pun intended, you know, I'm fired up and ready to go, right all in, right? That dedication to the work, the team, the organization, or that dedication can be kind of a slippery slope and turn into cynicism.
Right? And so we see that show up, but it's the same type of involvement. And then efficacy is, you know, the confidence that you have to do your job well, right? If you know you do your job well, it's very easy to be fully absorbed into your work. This is why I believe that engagement and burnout, that's what begins this double edged sword.
You can be so excited and engrossed in your work that it's hard to detach. If all of the other things are in aligned, you have engagement, but if not, and you are unable to detach from work, it can lead to exhaustion, right? And that's how we can start to begin this, you know, this cycle of burnout.
So, I think the way to think about it for leaders and managers is you already have the tools. You already have these levers within the organization, things about the job that can be modified or not. Things about the organization that can be modified, and it's just about fine tuning them or adjusting the levers as necessary, right?
We often say you wanna assess what's going on, what's working, and what's not in the organization, as broadly as possible, right? It's also good we talked about having high quality relationships to know of this, if it's not a work issue, but it's just that somebody on your team is having, you know, a rough time at home where there's some personal issues going on. How can we still be supportive so that they can perform, you know, get their job done?
And then you wanna acknowledge what's happening today. If it's this big, you know, we're hybrid. It's a resistance to returning to the office. Some things we cannot change. We cannot change that. We were in a pandemic and now people have reevaluated work and their relationship to it.
So given what you do have control over where might be given what your assessment has showed you or has given what your assessment has shown you, what might you want to work on first, right? What do you have control over? And then really, with those two pieces of information, you can put together an action plan.
Think about certain strategies. If it is about building more trusting relationships, how can you get to know your team? Or even if they're remote, is there a way to build in 15, 30 minute calls weekly just to chat, how are you? That goes a really long way to get to know someone, right? Just as an example.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. I think what I'm hearing, what's really standing out is engagement just doesn't happen because, hey, you've got this amazing job title and here's all your requirements. There's so many factors that feed into that equation of what creates an engaged employee.
There's also the personal factors that weigh in. Whether somebody's going through something personal, financial, health, whatever it is it weighs in on the employee and the ability to perform. So I think what I'm hearing is what's so, so important is HR leaders whoever is listening, to sit back and even look at their teams.
Has there been behavior changes? Somebody who used to be outspoken is not outspoken anymore. Is there been some internal conflict? You know, conflict can be good with if it's harnessed and approached the right way. Are people excited? You know, if you and I, we love the phrase fired up, so if I keep saying, Hey guys, I'm fired up about this, and the team just looks at me with straight faces and it's like, okay, that's not the reaction I'm looking for. There's some, there could be something else, but if we ignore it, we're gonna go further down that path of burnout and disengagement.
Mia Baytop Russell: Yes, for sure. I mean, managing burnout requires leadership and good leadership, for sure.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. Yeah. That, that leads into a question I'll ask in a minute about what does it mean to be a good people leader but here's a question for you. Is burnout preventable?
Mia Baytop Russell: Yes. Burnout is preventable. And again, there's you know, we've done some research there. There's also lots of research on burnout. We think that, from a organizational perspective, or, and I guess I'll talk take it from two ways, organizational and individual perspective. Right?
So by building up those resources, even if we go back to this image of this stove top pressure cooker, the more resources we have, it acts as a buffering effect. Right? So, the more that we have kind of filled up our lives and our work experiences with those positive things, when the demands, the stress come because they will, it doesn't make us waiver as much.
And so that's why I believe there's much, much of the work on burnout is from an individual perspective and focuses on self care. I think that's a part, but that's not the only thing because burnout happens is a, is you know, is a workplace phenomenon, right? And so there are things that in the workplace that can be addressed.
So if you think about from an individual perspective, and I'll start with this idea of the self care, right? It's about self care strategies, creating boundaries, and boundary setting looks like, I know this is a more, becoming more and more popular to talk about boundaries and say no, etc. But identifying what those boundaries need to be is really important.
And then identifying what worklife balance and work life integration mean for you, especially, I think about work life integration when we're hybrid, right? So there is a benefit of being able to detach for a bit during the day, but then how much are you actually making up that time and working until the wee hours of the night because you have a project to do, or you have some guilt associated with stepping away for a while.
So what does work life balance and or integration look like for you?
When we think about preventing it in the office, this really comes down to leaders and managers identifying some of those risk factors, right? Some of those job demands, you know, that begin to be unmanaged or chronic, and trying to find ways to reduce the that the the significance or the weightiness of those demands.
By identifying them and prioritizing the ones that you have control over, you can really reduce the stress in the team or for the organization that therefore kind of, you know, working with that burnout valve.
And then getting back to motivation, right? How might we motivate our teams? There are things like helping them regain focus on the purpose of the work.
That is a huge motivator. Helping your team to take breaks, right? Or reinforcing the idea micro breaks just to step away for a bit. We kinda lost the water cooler time now that we, when we became remote or hybrid, but also encouraging them and demonstrating through modeling that you should take your paid time off, right?
Embracing nature, right? Can you bring plants into the office? There are all different types of strategies that can be employed. Sometimes it's something simple as lighting. Right? There are so many things that organizations and leaders have controls over and fired up in our wee list.
In chapter nine, tons of ideas and strategies for some of what we would call the 20 large, single largest issues in a workplace, from policies and procedures to adequate materials and equipment to autonomy and control, right? All types of things. Again, trying to take a social ecological approach to the workplace, right?
There are personal factors, job related factors, and organizational factors that can be modified or altered to help bring out the best of every person there.
Tim Reitsma: I like how you summed that up. It's the personal factors, the job factors, organizational factors. And as leaders, people, managers, leading teams, you know, building that rapport, building that relationship to understand the personal factors.
We have control over the job factors, whether we can change a job or not. But owning it and talking it through and supporting our team. And then the organizational factors often, you know, sometimes burnout comes on because there's no clarity in where we're going, what we're doing, you know.
There's mass lay-offs in the market. Now am I gonna get laid off? And that just, you know, you can spiral to control there. So what is the one thing, somebody who's listening today, whether maybe they're going through a state of burnout or managing a team of people who are feeling burnt out. What is one thing, what's one piece of advice that you can give them today?
Mia Baytop Russell: You know, I think this conversation has really been framed around the idea that burnout isn't the individual's fault. And therefore it's the organization's fault. I guess the advice would be, I assert that burnout's the organization's problem, but not the organization's fault. And the good news is that you have the ability to change it, right? Burnout can be mitigated.
So, while this is a very important thing that needs to happen, it is something that you can control and positively influence. So I think I wanna leave here. I've talked about lots of bad things, right? But all of the bad effects. But the good news is that you can do something about it.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah, it's something that we can do something about. It's not a badge of honor. It's not a saying, well, we just live in this constant data burnout. That's how we operate our team. If that's what your team or the company you work for, if that's their style and it's not your style, maybe there's a personal conflict there, and that's a whole other conversation.
But thanks for that, that one thing I love it that we as leaders, as HR leaders, business leaders, we need to pay attention to what's going on in our organizations, pay attention to people. And if our people burning out, if teams are burning out, it's our problem. It's our fault. Like we, we need to change.
It's we can't just, you know, say if there's like a little fire in the corner of the office and say you know, playing on the fired up reference subconsciously there, we're not just gonna let it burn. You know, the spark line somewhere else, and then we're just gonna let that burn and all of a sudden, you know, our building's full of smoke.
And speaking of the contagious piece it's just not a healthy environment. So we need to tackle this and approach it with care and understanding.
Mia Baytop Russell: Definitely. I think, and we try and in our book, we really try to give many examples and tools that leaders can use, right? So we're not suggesting it's a panacea and there's gonna be one size, one right way.
But you know your industry, your discipline, the roles in which you have on your team, so you know those things that you can address. And we hope that the framework, that OJP framework, number one is helpful, but also that many of the other worksheets and tools that we offer gives some direction, right? It's not prescriptive, but definitely gives you some direction. We want this to be practical.
Because this is an issue that people wanna fix. You just don't want theory. You want something that you can put into practice.
Tim Reitsma: Yeah. And that's one thing I love about the book is it's not just, we're just gonna talk at a 10,000 foot level about burnout, preventing burnout. This is, here are some practical solutions or practical ways that you can bring these tools into your workplace. And so we'll make sure we'll put the link in the show notes, so on peoplemanagingpeople.com. If you head to the podcast page, we'll have the link to the book as well as how to find you and reach you.
And for people who are listening, they may have said, Hey, Tim didn't ask, what does it mean to be a leader and you know, how do we build a better world to work? I gotta flip this a little bit and starting to ask us at the end of episodes. And so I want to thank you for all the work that you've done around this topic of burnout.
Something that I'm passionate about as well. We did a session, a while ago, almost a year ago now, about proactively approaching burnout and to crowdsource ideas around this topic. And so a lot of synergy in what we, you found with our group of 20 people. And and the research that you've done and taken it, I mean, a hundred steps further than we wrote an ebook on it. So, but I think you so much for your work on this.
We talk a lot about leaders in our conversation today. What does it mean to be a leader? What's that definition for you?
Mia Baytop Russell: So I I can't help but draw on my organizational leadership work, right? And a leader is a person that influences and inspires others. And so I don't see leadership as a role, although it can be. Leadership is more of a state of being or kind of this engagement and participation in this process.
And I think that we all can embody leadership and demonstrate leadership principles. I like to think about leadership as having a good end, but I know that there is a huge leadership debate about whether we, you didn't ask about a good leader, but a leader.
And so I would come back to influence and inspiration to a desired end goal.
Tim Reitsma: Well, I'm definitely inspired by this conversation and influence to dive deeper into this topic. So, as listeners know, as you know, Mia, our purpose here at People Managing People is to build a better world of work. And it needs to be an a collective approach.
We all need to be bought into this, whether you're an individual contributor, managing people sitting at the top of an organization. I believe we need to be focused on this. So when you hear that phrase what comes to mind?
Mia Baytop Russell: I totally agree with you. I think that we all have a role to play in building a better world of work. This reminds me of the idea and we talk about it in Fired Up of having thriving and flourishing workplaces where people can be happy, productive, right? We spend so much time at work. We spend most of our waking hours and most of our life at work. We deserve to be in a place that aids in our quality of life.
Right? I think it's not lost on me that we use this term fired up, right? You can go to work, have passion and meaning, be excited about what you're doing, and I think that is kind of central to having a better world of work. One where, you know, we talk about trust and high quality relationships, one where you feel safe, but you can also bring your best self to work and make meaningful contributions. So I think, you know, this is a wonderful sentiment end goal, right? And so I applaud you on the work that you all do to help create a better world of work.
Tim Reitsma: Well, thank you for that. And you know, the topic of burnout, the topic of transforming your team from burnout to engagement will create a better world of work.
And it's always the how do we do this? And that's our aim. And I think what you've summed up in our episode today is, gave some concrete ways how. And it could just be as simple as, like we talked about, building those relationships, looking at the job. I think, you know, you said, identify the burnout risk factors in the role.
And something that I know I've never done when I've designed roles and I've built teams and created new roles, I've never sat down and went, okay, where are areas of potential burnout? Where's it often burnout and ambiguity go hand in hand? So where do we clarify that?
So Mia, thank you so much. You know, I'll say it one more time. I'm fired up. I'm excited.
I'm excited that you've written, co-authored this book and gave some practical tools, practical insights, and for those who are listening, I encourage you to pick up a copy. I don't say that about every book that of that comes on and, but if you're looking for real practical ways that you can transform your organization, this is a book for you.
It'll inspire, but also help you with transforming your organization. Mia, thanks for spending some time with us today.
Mia Baytop Russell: Yeah, thank you. I appreciate your time. And thanks to Becca too, your team. And also if people wanna learn more, they can go to thinkfiredup.com and check out our website.
Tim Reitsma: Perfect. Yeah, thinkfiredup.com. We'll put that in the show notes.
And again, for those who are listening, we always love to hear your feedback. And so if you have feedback on this episode or just comments on topics that you'd love for us to cover, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd love to, to hear your, and read your emails and read your comments. And so, but also make sure you head to the show, subscribe to People Managing People so you don't miss good episodes like this one with Mia.
Mia, again, thanks for coming out on. We'll put all the links in the show notes and I hope everyone has a fantastic day.
Mia Baytop Russell: Thank you.