Menu Close

Burnout at the top: why we must focus on the CEO experience

CEO burnout is a real epidemic that often gets overlooked. Xavier Mufraggi, CEO of YPO and Antonia Hock, Global Head of The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center delve deeper into this growing issue.

Executive Job Burnout

With many workers worn out by the events of the past two years, the Great Resignation is leaving many companies and organisations so understaffed it is disrupting their operations. But another silent epidemic is looming, and few are paying attention: CEO burnout.

Many leaders have summoned all their reserves these past two years to keep their teams aligned and energised during the global reckoning and opportunity for reflection the pandemic brought. Now, as leaders, they are navigating the impact of a new variant, the transition back to the office, worker shortages, supply chain disruptions and in some cases, heated debate among their teams over vaccine mandates. At the same time, they must keep their workplace cultures and offerings to customers relevant. Many are doing so while managing more fluid, distributed workforces that include both traditional employees and gig workers, in workplaces that are evolving to become more flexible and more responsive to employees’ desire for connectedness, inclusion and belonging. They must also stay on top of tools to improve organisational efficiency while keeping a finger on the pulse of employee happiness.

CEOs’ top concerns for 2022 are supply chain issues, inflation and a global labour shortage, according to the YPO Global Pulse: Business Outlook for 2022 survey. And though many leaders are tackling these challenges as their companies experience a recovery, nearly one-fifth do not have a favourable economic outlook for the year ahead.

The unsung struggle

Leading under conditions like these can be a lonely enterprise – and leaders need the same sort of support and rejuvenation employees do. Only one in five leaders have a strong sense of their own purpose, according to YPO, a global leadership community of extraordinary chief executives. Its research revealed that stress and exhaustion were depleting many leaders’ creativity. But who can they turn to for help? Other chief executives to start.

In working with The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, YPO is on a journey to transform both its member and employee experiences, and provide the leaders who belong to YPO with the support, infrastructure, and meaningful connection they need to be successful in today’s environment. As YPO undergoes this transformation, leaders who belong to YPO will have the opportunity to experience it firsthand, and in turn apply the Ritz-Carlton’s customer experience and employee engagement principles in their own businesses as they strive to retain talent and fill open positions amidst a global labour shortage.

“What this pandemic has taught leaders is that uncertain and challenging times can bring new opportunities and innovations.”

With no “Pandemic Playbook” in the back pocket of CEOs today and mounting pressure for CEOs to lead internal and external stakeholders on a magnified level with rising friction on both fronts, authentic, connected company culture is eating strategy for breakfast (lunch and dinner). People at all levels in the organisation are craving human connection more than ever before. YPO provides its CEO members with healthy peer-to-peer engagement through a network of leaders, who not only can relate to those feelings only a CEO experiences but can also empathise with them and learn from them.

What this pandemic has taught leaders is that uncertain and challenging times can bring new opportunities and innovations, and it’s the job of a leader to chart a positive path by finding those new opportunities and innovations and bringing them to market quickly. YPO has embraced the principles of the Ritz-Carlton to further evolve the peer support CEOs can glean through the expansive YPO network. With this re-imagined member experience, YPO CEOs can find new pathways to success through strategic investments in culture.

Fast tracking recovery

As many leaders across the YPO network are learning firsthand through this journey with The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center, all CEOs have a tremendous opportunity to re-ignite fresh vision in the new year to:

  • Re-think their talent experiences, culture, and employee engagement strategies
  • Discover how to execute best-in-class customer experience strategies designed to differentiate their brands.
  • Connect their cultural identity to your overall business performance to drive your bottom line.
  • Discover how to outmanoeuvre the competition and curate experiences that will delight current customers and help to acquire new customers.

This journey with The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center will also support the knowledge transfer and development for YPO Concierge, a service-focused initiative and dedicated team, designed to answer members’ inquiries in real time with support hours that match the global footprint of YPO members around the world.

All leaders, regardless of whether they are members of YPO, can tap into the organisation’s webinars at its YouTube channel. With the role of leaders evolving in real-time, both organisations will be rolling out new information and resources to help them transform themselves and their organisations to meet the challenges they must face in the post-pandemic environment.

Many CEOs have seen their resilience put to the test by the global pandemic. By coming together to support these leaders, YPO and The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center aim to help them develop the practical problem-solving tools, strategy and mindset they need to act with speed and confidence in today’s business environment while tapping into their own well of optimism.

As the CEO of YPO, a global leadership community of more than 30,000 chief executives, Xavier Mufraggi is a dynamic leader recognised for his operational leadership, talent development and digital transformations. A world-class strategic marketer, Xavier is known for implementing bold initiatives that curate a premier, customer-focused experience. He easily identifies global trends as they emerge, recognising their impact on an organisation and identifying new opportunities for growth.

Antonia Hock is a recognised global expert on organisational transformation and building experience-based brands. She specialises in creating a culture of customer-centricity, defining leadership for the future and innovating modern luxury experiences. She is in high demand for her vision and methodology in creating sustainable competitive advantages for many of the world’s largest organisations and consumer brands.

Read next: Why building a diverse board can maximise your bottom line

Leave a Reply