Monday, August 31, 2009

Mental Bandwidth

I worked with a great young performer who told me she was feeling burned out. The funny thing was, she was not putting in extra time at the office or traveling. Nothing seemed out to make sense until she told me what she had been working on.

It seems that she was doing her job as an entry level customer service person and was growing into a middle manager role, which seemed good to me. What was not good, however, was that she worked for a supervisor who was pretty much absentee. She felt she had to do much of her supervisor's job, too--even though she admitted it took very little time on daily basis.

It turns out she was not burned out, at least not from working too much. She was too stretched, far beyond her natural "bandwidth" or comfort zone. She was confident doing the stuff she knew how to do, but she was stressed out and emotional over doing her boss's work. We removed her boss's work from her plate and things improved.

She opened my eyes to realizing that at times I suffer from the same bandwidth issue, only from the opposite end of the equation. I can handle the big stuff, the strategy and leadership issues, but the more I get pulled into the more detail areas, the more my bandwidth is stretched.

Sometimes it's not burn out, it's about bandwidth. Another reason we must make sure we have the right people doing the right jobs.

Barry LaBov
LaBov and Beyond Marketing Communications

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