As gratifying and enjoyable as leadership can be, it can also be mentally and emotionally taxing. Bearing the responsibility of others, a department or even an entire organization is not without its side effects. Because of the stress often involved in leadership, many new leaders – as well as experienced ones – can experience burnout. And while there are many situations that contribute to the burnout of a leader, one cause that can be avoided is the Be Good At Everything Syndrome.
BGAE can affect leaders of all ages and experience levels. Because leaders, by nature, are often very capable people, their abilities often contribute to the problems associated with BGAE. In an effort to prove they are worthy of the “expert” label they carry, leaders often feel they have to continue to justify their position by knowing and being good at everything. I will not suggest that those who suffer from BGAE Syndrome are not good leaders, but I would recommend a different approach… one of servant leadership.
The “carrier” of the virus that breeds BGAE is… pride. Pride tells us we have to be the best at everything. Pride tells us we have to “get ours” and to “look out for number one.” However, reality tells us that being good at everything is simply not possible. So, to continue attempting to be good at everything is a recipe for leadership disaster. Servant leaders take the gifts and talents they have been blessed with and bless others. Servant leaders build others up and build teams to accomplish things that no individual could ever accomplish alone. A leader with BGAE is constantly trying to feed the insatiable appetite of their pride, while the servant leader is looking out for the interests of others. This is not to say that leaders with BGAE do not get a lot accomplished. Hard work and diligence are wonderful traits in any individual. But, how that hard work is invested can heavily impact your likelihood of burnout and ultimately, how many people you truly are leading.
No one is immune to BGAE. If your heart is ticking, you are a candidate to get infected. Keep pride in check and always be thinking TEAM, not ME.