44. The Great Resignation + Stop Bad Burnout Advice

Episode 44: The Great Resignation + Stop Bad Burnout Advice (Summary)

Have you heard of “The Great Resignation?” I’ll tell you why it’s happening, and the astounding opportunity it’s creating for companies who are paying attention. Plus, we’re talking scary movies and why I’ve had enough of Bad Burnout Advice. Get ready right now, for Boss Better Now.

Links:
To learn more about Joe Mull, visit his website ​Joemull.com​.
To hear more from Joe Mull visit his YouTube channel​.
To learn how to invite Joe to speak at an event, visit ​Joemull.com/speaking​.
To check date availability or to get a quote for an event, email ​hello@joemull.com​.
To explore options for coaching from Alyssa Mullet, visit ​Joemull.com/coaching​.
For more information on the BossBetter Leadership Academy, visit Joemull.com/academy.
Email the show at bossbetternow@gmail.com.
To leave comments, ask questions, or to message us visit our Boss Better Now Podcast Facebook Page.
Connect with Joe on Instagram.
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Transcript – Episode 44: The Great Resignation + Stop Bad Burnout Advice

Joe:
Have you heard of ‘The Great Resignation’? I’ll tell you why it’s happening and the astounding opportunity it’s creating for companies who are paying attention. Plus, we’re talking scary movies and why I’ve had enough of bad burnout advice. Get ready right now for Boss Better Now.

Alyssa:
You’re listening to Boss Better Now. Please welcome speaker, author, and holiday music lover, Joe Mull.

Joe:
*singing* It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right, Alyssa. The Christmas music is on the radio. I know it is, uh, not everybody’s favorite thing that the music tends to start early, but I am here for it. Uh, and if you BossHeroes listening, are here for it as well, well then turn that music down, listen to our show and then turn it right back up because the music is part of the reason for the season. Hello again, BossHeroes and welcome to the show. Whether you’re a first-time listener or a long-time subscriber, thank you for being with us today. Please welcome my co-host, professional coach Extraordinaire, Alyssa Mullet. How are you, my friend?

Alyssa:
Now see that’s a Christmas-y sound, right? Ding!

Joe:
Little bit.

Alyssa:
Yeah. I…that…I can get behind that sound. All of the rest of it…I’m not a Bah Humbug. I’m not. But for me, for me it has to start after Thanksgiving.

Joe:
I get it.

Alyssa:
Then, then I can immerse myself in all that is Christmas. But there needs to be a definitive…

Joe:
Line.

Alyssa:
Before and after. Yes. Yes.

Joe:
My wife is very much like that. My oldest child, my daughter, Lily, who just turned 11 is very much like that. It’s the Christmas commercials. Cause they start the day after Halloween, right?

Alyssa:
Uh-huh.

Joe:
They all start showing up on the TV and on the radio. And she’s like, no, I refuse. And she sticks her fingers in her ears. And I’m like, I’m, I’m here for it. Like I, I, I’m a little bit of a Christmas junkie. And so as soon as it starts, I’m like, yeah! Let’s do this!

Alyssa:
I think I; I think I would have guessed that about you. In fact, I actually still to this day have a CD full of Christmas songs.

Joe:
Oh, my goodness!

Alyssa:
That you sang.

Joe:
Yes!

Alyssa:
Do you remember that one year…?

Joe:
I remember this.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
Yeah. I have a…I recorded a Christmas CD a couple of years ago. Um, but most, a lot of the folks listening know I have a bachelor’s degree in music in voice. Probably couldn’t tell from the singing that just happened a minute ago. That was a little spontaneous. But within a little, with a little practice I do. Okay. And yeah, I love, I love singing Christmas music and, um, have, have gigged out around it quite a bit over the last few years. And um, yeah. Put, put some recording down a couple of years ago. So, you still have that, huh?

Alyssa:
I do. And I enjoy it….after Thanksgiving.

Joe:
Yes. Yes. Uh, I think in our politically divided nation, uh, that is probably another great divide, right? Some people are for the holiday celebrations as early as possible and others have, um, no soul. So…

Alyssa:
Yes! That’s exactly it. That’s it.

Joe:
Well, we’re going to start today talking about something that, uh, folks who have been listening to our podcast for a little while have gotten a little bit of a flavor of, um, but maybe not as, as directly as we could have talked about it. And it’s this idea of ‘The Great Resignation’. Uh, if you’ve been paying attention to the news, you’ve maybe seen this turn of phrase in articles or in news coverage. Have you seen this turn of phrase, Alyssa, ‘The Great Resignation’?

Alyssa:
Abso-friggin-lutely! As an HR junkie in terms of like what my inbox and this lists that I subscribed to, you know, SHRM, the Society of Human Resource Management, is talking about this, Adam Grant, all of the, you know, Brene Brown, all of these folks are talking about ‘The Great Resignation’. Yeah.

Joe:
Right. Uh, I’ve been speaking on this topic to audiences probably more than any other for the better part of the last six months. And so, what I wanted to do today is just kind of play a little bit of catch up with folks and to really give us a snapshot of what’s happening out there because it’s pretty astounding. Uh, but it also, as, as any challenge often does, creates an incredible opportunity for companies that are paying attention and for leaders who are paying attention. So, a few months ago here on the podcast, we told you I’m going to do a data dump by the way, this is a huge data dump coming. Uh, so hang in there friends, if you don’t like the data, um, hang in there. But I think you’ll find some of this really surprising and interesting. Uh, so a few months ago we told you on the podcast that in the spring and early summer of this year, we were seeing record numbers of people leaving the workforce about 4 million people a month.

Joe:
And that has continued. Uh, it happened again in July. Uh, it happened again in August. Uh, so over a period of about five months, nearly 20 million people left the workforce. Uh, that number is 60% higher than it has been in the year prior. Um, it was 4.3 million people who left their jobs in August and every month that this has happened, it has set the record for that month in the number of people who have left since they started collecting that data more than 20 years ago.

Alyssa:
Wow!

Joe:
Right now, in the U S we have over 10 million job openings. And what we’re seeing is that, uh, people especially have left retail, food services, hospitality, and healthcare, and high rates all over the workforce. We’re seeing, especially the Midwest and the south are being hit, Texas and Florida have had a really high concentration of industries seeing the greatest churn, uh, especially in around travel and hospitality. Um, nearly 40% of workers who quit in August, worked in restaurants or hotels. We’re also seeing quits are soaring among manufacturing and warehouse workers. And so, if you’re starting to hear about some of this supply chain worry with your holiday shopping, that is a part of it. We expect some of those numbers to go higher in healthcare as this pandemic drags on and staffing shortages continue to take a toll. Here’s something else that’s happening that is really remarkable. When we see churn, we’re used to seeing it in younger, less tenured workers, but during The Great Resignation workers between 40 and 50 years old, who are less likely to quit their jobs than younger employees, are quitting and higher numbers than ever before their resignation rates this year are up by over 38%. Some of the data we saw this summer from the Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that this is not people being fired. This is people voluntarily leaving across all separations, retirements, firings, and voluntary quits. 69% were voluntary and ‘to improve my work situation’. And we know that in that data, many of those folks are leaving without a next role in place yet. And so, one of the interesting conversations that’s taking place is how can people afford to do this? Why is this happening? Uh, oh, it must be stimulus. Oh, it must be expanded unemployment. And we really don’t have any data to support either of that. Um, the expanded unemployment benefits have expired in most states and there has been no spike in return to work across the data. In fact, we’re still seeing these monthly quit numbers that are pretty astounding. And as for stimulus, we actually have data on how people spent it. You can go and look this up. We see that across those three various stimulus payments that people got since the pandemic, one out of three people use their money to pay down debt. 45% caught up and rent and monthly bills. And for 94% of Americans who receive stimulus, those monies were gone after three months because they paid down debt and caught up on bills. People are not flush with cash and living off of it all of a sudden. So how can this happen? Well, Alyssa, a funny thing happened when a whole portion of our workforce was told, you’ve got to figure out how to live with less work – they did, right? We, we know people were told we have to furlough you when the pandemic hit, uh, or when their kids had to be homeschooled. They said, I can’t go back to work because I have to be here with the kids. And so, for some folks, it was hell, but they had to figure out how to live with less. And many of them did and they’re looking around and they’re going, the, the quality of life that I’m experiencing right now is so much better than it was before. We hear people talking about, I am spending more time with my family or I’m, uh, I’m eating healthier. I’m finding time to exercise. My sleep is better. My mental health is better, or I’m going to start my own side business. We have data that tells us that more than 40% of households are earning less now than they were prior to the pandemic. And so, one other last piece of data here before we talk about this, a little bit. Job openings in September, we’re up 86%. Since the start of the year, while job applications have only risen by 8%. This is ongoing. This is continuing it’s… There’s not really an end in sight of this because a variety of surveys and studies keep coming out when it comes to your current employees. And they’re pointing to the same conclusion, which is that right now, roughly 50%, half of all currently employed people are actively thinking about quitting. And that is terrifying. And now, BossHeroes, if you’re listening to this, I know what you’re thinking. Boy, as a motivational speaker, this guy’s terrible. I thought this podcast was supposed to lift me up and make me feel better.

Alyssa:
It’s so bright and shiny out there. The outlook, I almost have to wear shades!

Joe:
But let’s be honest about what this is. This is a tremendous opportunity for companies who are paying attention. Right now, there is a massive recalibration happening around how work fits into our lives. People are saying after years of overwork, after years of stressful conditions, after years of inconvenient hours, after years of bad bosses, I am going to be more careful and more selective about where I take my talents to, and with whom I share my talents. Which means that there is an incredible amount of talent that is available right now, more available than ever before. And they’re going to be discerning. So, if you can take a look at your organization and say, you know what, we can build an all-star team. If we’re willing to create an employee experience that aligns with the needs and values of a changed workforce, we could actually be in a better position a year from now than we ever were before. Right?

Alyssa:
Yup.

Joe:
We, we can, we can accelerate the, the, the quality of our personnel, the quality of our customer experience, the revenue that we generate, the level of engagement we have across our employees if we are willing to think about our employee experience through the lens of The Great Resignation. Why are people leaving? What are they looking for? What will bring them back? And so, I’m going to stop there with my data dump, my friend, give you a chance to react to everything that you just heard. Uh, and then we’ll kind of talk a little bit more about, um, what organizations can do and what leaders can do to take advantage of this moment.

Alyssa:
I love that. Thank you so much. And so, for those of you who are struggling with everything that Joe has just outlined, here’s the…your cliff notes to be able to take to your senior leadership teams, right? And sit around the round table and say, okay, this is in summary, what’s happening out there in the world. Right? And it has to be data driven first, right? And then you can start looking for solutions. The only other things that I want to add into the discussion points, when you talk about, you know, the number of people that are leaving the workforce, it is disproportionately female. Women have traditionally always been the caretakers in their families. And thus, when all of those roles had to conflate into one sustainable, self-sustainable unit and the family, it was women who picked that back up and were forced, as you very articulately communicated, to live with less. And that meant less in the professional context of what they…what the workforce does for them and what they do for the workforce. So, they had to step back from that arena in order to fulfill the needs of the family. I think this whole concept is tremendous in…it really stuck with me about living with less work. It equates to also our ability and adjust to living with less.

Joe:
Yes.

Alyssa:
In the context of what we have traditionally defined as more. We wanted more money; we wanted more things. We wanted more clout ,power, all of these things, right? And we’re now trying to also, it’s not just in the, you know, it was not just specifically numbers in the workforce. It is also then that recalibration within ourselves and at our homes as to what is less actually mean to me.

Joe:
This is part of this recalibration that’s taking place. And people want to point to it as generational, right? They want to point to gen Z as being more transient or just kind of, I’m going to live the hippie lifestyle. And that’s not it at all. Uh, I think that one of the things that we have to acknowledge, and this is going to sound like an absurd statement for a lot of folks, but it’s important that we be clear, The Great Resignation is not caused by the COVID pandemic. It’s not. It’s caused by decades of Americans being the most overworked nation on earth. We talked about this in one of our earlier podcast episodes about all the data we had, even before the pandemic about our lack of vacation time and the insane amount of hours we spend in the workplace and the, uh, skyrocketing childcare costs that are out there. And all of the ways in which these kinds of bake into a pie of stress and suffering that has been ongoing for some time. So, the COVID pandemic did not create The Great Resignation. It’s just that the pandemic arrived and took an already stressed-out workforce and broke it. And now all of a sudden, people are looking in the mirror and going, you only get one life, man. And I, you know, I want this life to be a little bit better than what I’ve been living and that, that, that influences the quality of my relationships. And I want to really think about, is it worth it? Is it worth it for me to make 15, 20% more and to just be ground down by a bad boss or a really tough job, uh, versus if I can live on a little bit less, the happiness factor goes way up.

Alyssa:
This is…it could not be more true what you’re saying. And, and I have an example, okay, because that COVID did not break it…COVID broke it, but it was already broken. You know?

Joe:
Yes!

Alyssa:
It was, we were so burnt. I have a former colleague who, um, has been working from home for, I think like 10 years before the whole pandemic even started. That was the company that she moved to was that was their model. She, um, did, as we do in the normal world, where she sat at her desk at her home for this many hours and did all the things. She has no children. She’s unencumbered by all of the other things that we think of traditionally, um, as adding to this whole thing, right? COVID hits. And the only thing that happens is that she now gets less work. Meaning the things that are coming in in terms of immediacy of attention, because they are mostly driven off of other people. And those other people have now slowed their pace, balanced out and are unwilling to continue to burn themselves, the heck out. Okay? And so, she is experiencing this as, oh my goodness. If I only have truly like three- or four-hours’ worth of “work” each day, what, how has that affect my value? Am I disposable? Not that necessarily that she wants to leave, but it goes to this whole concept of fear of this other shoe dropping and what it actually does to her. It’s this, the value statements that we have wrapped up for ourselves in work. And it is being reset for everyone, no matter your situation, whether you’ve been in the workforce, you know, working from home for a decade or COVID was the first opportunity and experience that you had with that. It is a recalibration at a fundamental level as to what “work” is to us and how we think of ourselves in that role.

Joe:
Yes. And there’s this wide conversation taking place between, do people want a career? Do I want to be the kind of hard charging, uh, fully involved, It’s the focus of how I spend most of my waking hours, I’m climbing a ladder, I’m being driven by ambition. That’s out there for some, but not for all. Some people just want a job. Some people want a job that they can do well for a finite period of time that allows them to live the rest of their life, the way they want to live it. And we sometimes then point to those folks and say, well, they must be disengaged, but that’s not accurate. You can get commitment from people at work who don’t want to work as much as they did before, who don’t want to climb the ladder, who don’t aspire to be at the top of the org chart. Right? And there’s another side to this too, which is that let’s not misinterpret this conversation as saying, people are no longer willing to do hard things at work. There are no longer willing to experience challenges at work because of course they are. We get fulfilled when we overcome challenges at work. There are many of us who enjoy doing challenging things at work. What we’re saying is if all of your employees are a red lining engine and have been for years, then when challenging work shows up, we’re less capable of doing it. We do experience it as suffering. We don’t get the fulfillment from it that we would if we had been living a different kind of existence before that. So, imagine the kind of opportunity you have here. If you own a business or you’re hiring people, and you say to them, we don’t want you to go at a hundred percent all the time. We want you to go about 80% most of the time, so that when we need you to show up at a hundred percent, every once in a while, you’re able to do it and give your best to it. I didn’t mean for that to rhyme. It just happened that time.

Alyssa:
Oh God. Lord help us!

Joe:
But you understand the point here, right? Imagine the astounding, competitive advantage that you create for yourself when you say to the workforce, we want to create some space in your employment existence so that you can do professional development, or you can focus on some things that are of interest to you, or, you know, you can take a vacation a little bit more than a couple of days a year. And when work gets hard, when we need you to do hard things, you’re going to run toward it because we’ve taken care of you.

Alyssa:
Yes! And this is what I, what I, I hope that folks glean at a, an individual level. Um, is that, you know, just as I was talking to my former colleague about, is we then have to kind of redefine what we value, what fulfills us in the workplace. So, if it…you know…we traditionally have always thought it has to be this many hours, this amount of face time, I have to be available for emails 24/7. Right? That’s how I know I am needed, and I belong. And there’s a place for me.

Joe:
Yeah.

Alyssa:
For a lot of us.

Joe:
And until companies recognize that on their end, they have to reinvent themselves. They have to reinvent, uh, what the employee experience looks like. What a job looks like, uh, in order to get the best from people. Then there’s going to be this disconnect between people who are looking for the right kind of opportunities and companies who can’t hire. And so, let’s kind of put a bow on this. Uh, I’ve been speaking about this a lot to groups, but the keynote I’ve been doing the most over the past few months has been about, um, how hard it is to find and keep devoted employees. And we can all agree that it’s harder than ever before. But the problem is that organizations are still using an antiquated strategy. They still believe that what they need to do is find the best person for the job and that’s broken. That’s not the world we’re living in anymore. What companies need to do is create the best job for the person. They need to inverse it. They need to think of it in the opposite way. And we do that by creating an employee experience by engineering an employee experience that aligns with the changing needs, wants, and values of this new workforce that we are surrounded by. Until companies do that, they’re going to be left behind by those organizations who understand what it takes now to find and keep devoted employees.

Alyssa:
That feels big and hopeful and scary as all hell.

Joe:
And hard.

Alyssa:
Yeah!

Joe:
Yep. Well, we’re going to keep talking about it. I imagine this is going to be a big theme. Um, I also know a guy who just signed the publishing contract to write a book about this. Um, and he’s a friend of the show. It’s me.

Alyssa:
Awesome. Yay! Yay yay yay!

Joe:
Stay tuned! More to come! #teaser.

Joe:
Well, that brings us, my friend, to the Camaraderie Question of the Week. And although we have moved squarely into the holiday season and we were singing holiday carols a few minutes ago, Halloween is still in the rear-view mirror. And so, I thought this would be a fun question to ask really at any time of the year. But if you’re looking for one around Halloween could be kind of fun. What is the scariest movie you’ve ever seen?

Alyssa:
First, I need to say I hate, I hate scary movies. Like physically. My body has a definitive reaction to scaring and that is not nice and kind. It’s punchy. Punchy, murder, murder. I will murder you. You make me scared. Okay? Um, that said I did accidentally one time in my life watch a scary movie, scary to me, which was The Hills Have Eyes. I have not been the same ever since. Creepy beyond belief. And I will never be in an RV alone in the desert. EVER! Ever.

Joe:
Uh, okay. All right. I, I don’t think I have seen that one though. I have, I’ve heard of it. I’m familiar with it. It’s not an old scary movie. It’s one newer kind of, one of these new breed of… I’m intrigued by the idea of how you accidentally watched it. How does accidentally watched it happen for two hours?

Alyssa:
I don’t know. I’m sure I did it for love or some such crapola but…it quickly turned into hate.

Joe:
It’s like I was changing the channel with my remote and then I landed on this station and then the batteries in the remote died and my leg was broken. So, I couldn’t get off the couch. And I was trapped, I say, trapped to watch the two hours scary movie.

Alyssa:
Yes. That’s exactly it.

Joe:
Got it. Ok.

Alyssa:
Do you like scary movies? Is that something you enjoy?

Joe:
Um….

Alyssa:
I know people do enjoy it. I…I don’t.

Joe:
I guess I would differentiate between, I, I like a thriller every once in a mile, but I don’t go for horror. I’ve seen some, and it, it’s just not my first choice. I’d rather watch like a sci-fi or action and adventure or a good drama. Um, and then, then maybe, you know, a thriller, but, uh, I have seen my, my share of scary movies. And when I encountered this question, there was one movie that popped into mind. Uh, and it was the original Amityville Horror. Have you ever seen it?

Alyssa:
Oh. Ok. No.

Joe:
So, it was made in the seventies. I think it was the seventies. I should look, I should have looked that up before I came on here and said it was made in the seventies, but I’m pretty sure. Um, and okay, we’re going to do that right now. I’m going to go on here, Amityville on my computer, Amityville horror, because we’re all about the accuracy here….In 1979. Boom! Nailed it! Just barely. Made in the seventies, Amityville Horror. Um, and here’s why it was scary. First of all, I saw it when I was a little bit younger and second, it’s based on a true story. And so, I’ve always had the heebie-jeebies about like real ghost stories and hauntings and things like that. I, I, I believe in that at least enough, not to like, I don’t want to mess with it. I don’t mess with a Ouija board. I don’t want that in my life. Like there’s enough stuff in this universe that I don’t understand. And I got enough things that are complicated that vie for my attention. I don’t need to be haunted. I don’t need a Poltergeist. I don’t, I don’t need a, um, uh, what, what is it like a, a demon, right? Uh, a, a, um, a possession. That’s the word I’m looking for. I don’t need any of that in my life, but the Amityville Horror was based on a true story about, uh, this house that was haunted that this family bought and moved into and had all these horrible things happen to them. Uh, and I watched it and it was terrifying and I was like, Nope, I don’t. Nope, no thanks.

Alyssa:
So, you didn’t go and buy that house, then.

Joe:
Ugh. No.

Alyssa:
You didn’t search out the haunted house.

Joe:
And there have been remakes. And I don’t know if they’re better or worse, but I think with remakes, you tend to get more indulgent. Like the real stuff that happened to that family is scary enough.

Alyssa:
Yes. Yes. Oh, that makes me think about the Blair Witch Project.

Joe:
Okay.

Alyssa:
I did see that too.

Joe:
Was that scary for you?

Alyssa:
That was scary. That was scary to me.

Joe:
Well, the reason I asked that is because that was just this incredible kind of gorilla marketing effort. Where they, they put it out into the world as a found footage movie.

Alyssa:
Yeah.

Joe:
And made you believe that it was true. And it wasn’t. It was…but there was some question when it first came out, not everybody knew that it wasn’t a found footage thing. And so, if you thought that was a found footage thing that would be terrifying.

Alyssa:
For reals, for reals.

Joe:
That’s the Camaraderie Question of the Week?

Alyssa:
Are you planning a meeting, conference, retreat, or event? Why not invite our own Joe Mull to be your keynote speaker?

Joe at a live event:
How many people here who supervise have had their time, attention, and energy devoured by someone who is not committed? If yes, say yes.

Live event audience:
Yes! Amen!

Joe at a live event:
And an amen. See? Like I said.

Alyssa:
Joe teaches leaders how to boss better and cultivate commitment in a way that is funny, captivating, and filled with takeaways.

Joe at a live event:
Do you believe that these people are coming to me and telling me that I’m sticking my nose in where it doesn’t belong?

Live event audience:
Oh my gosh, wonderful. Really engaging and thought provoking, which is really great with lots of good tools to take home. You felt present like you wanted to lean in. You didn’t want to pick up your phone and scroll through Facebook.

Alyssa:
Whether your event is virtual or in person, your audience doesn’t want another boring 60-minute lecture. They deserve to learn and be inspired by a world-class program they simply cannot turn away from. That’s what you get, guaranteed, from Joe Mull.

Joe at a live event:
We can all agree we want our employees to care and try. But care and try isn’t about competence. It’s about commitment. And commitment can’t be bought. It can only be earned. Your number one job as a leader is to cultivate commitment

Alyssa:
For more information, visit joemull.com/speaking.

Joe:
All right, Alyssa, we close today with something I need to get off my chest. And so, we are going to do one of my favorite segments – Stop It! We need to put a stop to bad burnout advice. Now, most days I start my morning, the same way I let the dog out. I make my coffee and I read the news. I’m usually the first one up so I’m usually making my way into the living room in the dark and I trip on a dog toy in there somewhere too. And then I try not to swear and wake people up. But I ultimately end up in my chair with my coffee and I read the news on my phone because I use a news aggregator app, which pulls from dozens of different sources and publications that I care about. So, this means, Alyssa, that for the last 12 months, nearly every day, I have read an article or three on burnout. We’ve been talking about the unprecedented levels of burnout that people in the workforce are experiencing. And I cannot tell you, my friend, how much bad advice is being shared on how to address burnout. I want to share some of it with you.

Alyssa:
Oh! I love it!

Joe:
Because some of it is laughably bad. Okay?’ First, one of the most commonly offered pieces of advice is to start small’ or focus on the little things’ as if a bubble bath and a hot chocolate are going to help us all forget the soul crushingly, awful workloads of the past 20 months. I had one article that specifically suggested ‘decluttering’ as a strategy. And it literally told me to go home and clean out a drawer to feel better. It said clean out a drawer! And I’m like, listen, my junk drawers are my safe place. So back off! But also, really? We’re telling people who are exhausted at work to go home and clean something? I saw another article who suggested creating mantras to counteract what you’re feeling and that we should, and this is a direct quote “Look in the mirror, recognize the negative emotions you have and combat them by saying the opposite out loud.” Can you imagine getting up in the morning, Alyssa and looking in your mirror and going, I’m fully staffed. I have loads of free time and I feel amazing. I’m fully staffed. I have loads of free time and I feel amazing. That’s not working.

Alyssa:
Why do we want to gaslight ourselves? I don’t understand.

Joe:
But my favorite article was one which told me, and I’m not making this up, to pick a power color. And that the key to a better attitude is something called ‘dopamine dressing’, where I am allowing my mood with my outfit. You know what I did, I called Macy’s. And I said, excuse me, do you offer men’s dress shirts in a hopeless beige? That article also had one of the most incredible quotes in an article I’ve ever seen in my life. It was an anchor quote from an employee somewhere who said, quote, “I never shut up about orange. And I cover my body in lightning bolts any chance I get.” I am pretty sure I sat next to that guy on an airplane once. So fun!

Alyssa:
Was it Con Air? What the heck?

Joe:
Here’s the thing.

Alyssa:
Dope…wait, dopamine dressing

Joe:
Dopamine dressing. Yes!

Alyssa:
That sounds so illegal. Like…criminal. Ok. Ok.

Joe:
I can imagine your coworker walking in and being like, um, you’re wearing an awful lot of yellow. I mean, let’s be honest. I’m a fan of perky, but, you know, the sun just walked in. We got to tone it down. Well, and here’s the thing about all this stuff that I’ve been reading, my friend, there’s a lot of well-intentioned advice out there that shows up a lot. So, I’ve seen countless articles that suggest some of the things that we’ve talked about, like journaling and meditation, for example, and all those things sound like sound nice. But in the face of an epidemic of exhaustion, those ideas are pretty worthless because they don’t address the real problem. And here it is, people are burned out at work because of all the work. If people are going to heal, what they really need is less work. So, this isn’t rocket science, right? Our long, slow climb back to mental health is going to turn entirely on whether our teams get less work and more time away. When people are experiencing a catastrophic level of tired that doesn’t get fixed by a few days off or a few minutes with the latest, greatest mindfulness app on your phone. If you truly want to help your teams recharge from a year and a half that included 192 different kinds of awful, stop giving out bad burnout advice. Instead, figure out how you can get them less work and more time away. Stop it!

Joe:
Well, I feel better.

Alyssa:
Me too.

Joe:
I would like to know from our listeners how you feel about some of those slightly ranty segments on our show. Um, and I told Alyssa before this episode, I said, I’m going to rant at the end here about some bad burnout advice. So, I’m sorry if I bulldoze you at any point in time, because I just have a lot to say. So let me give you a chance. My friend, before we say goodbye to react to anything you just heard or add your unique voice to the conversation,

Alyssa:
I will just say this, when…what I experienced when you rant, whether it’s something I completely agree with, or not generally we agree, but, um, specific to this, like I feel so, uh, empathetically freed by your expression of anger and upsetness that it makes me lighter. And so, I don’t know if everybody experiences it that way in terms of whenever we respectively go on a rant, but it’s therapeutic is all hell for me. So, you keep doing it. I’m good!

Joe:
There’s a little bit of this…It’s a little performative, right? There’s some design behind it. It’s, you know, Louis Black, isn’t that mad all of the time when he does his comedy. Um, you know, there, there there’s a little shtick to it and it’s fun to do it because the stuff that underlies it all is frustrating, right? I’m sorry. But to open an article that says here’s how to help your team and to tell everybody like, to go home and clean out a drawer. Shut up. Like just stop. That’s bad, bad advice. Um, all right, friends. Well, by the way, I should mention this. We took this little idea of bad burnout advice, and we actually made a video of it where I showed some of these crazy headlines in these quotes that we’re talking about. That’s on the BossBetter YouTube channel if you want to check that out. And everybody who subscribes to our BossBetter Now emails got it in their email inbox a couple of days ago, which was fun. And so, you can go to BossBetterNow.com to find all that stuff or to sign up. But that’s our show for this week, friends, please take a moment right now on your device, if you wouldn’t mind, to subscribe to our show. Whether you’re listening on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audible, Amazon, Google, iHeart Radio, right there inside the app, you can hit the subscribe button and new episodes will be teed up and ready to go for you each time they are released. So, thank you for listening and thanks for all that you do to take care of so many.

Alyssa:
This show is sponsored by Joe Mull and Associates. Remember commitment comes from better bosses. Visit JoeMull.com today.

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