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Executive Burnout Prevention and Recovery Management Framework


Since Herbert J. Freudenberger, an American Psychologist in 1974 first described the term “Burnout” in his book ”Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement”, the term “Burnout” or “Burned-out” is quite frequently used when a variety of situations present itself to the Executive.

It is unfathomable for the Executive when an array of issues present itself such as;

  • Loss of energy and passion for work
  • Unmanageable stress levels which have become ‘routine’
  • Irritation
  • Agitation
  • Missed appointments
  • Lack of creativity
  • Unusual decision-making problems
  • Irritability in meetings (and at home) result in frequent arguments
  • Cynicism about work and self

When a vision, a clarity is lacking on how to proceed – self-confidence is quickly eroding and the first clear signs of Burnout have presented itself. 

This is (a long or short period) before physical manifestation of symptoms present itself such as for example;

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Lethargy
  • Heart palpitations
  • Inability to be active.


Quite interestingly, although the executive clearly feels ‘something is not right’, instead of starting to preserve energy and to start at least physically to ‘recover’, most executives start working even harder – Pushing themselves even more, yet coming to the daunting conclusion that results are not materialising (enough).

A judging society, corporation, family and friends intensify the Burnout situation by considering the situation as a professional and personal failure – failure to respond to a multitude of expectations, resulting in shame, blame, embarrassment and other negative emotions.


  • What if executive Burnout can be prevented?
  • What if when the executive has reached the stage of Burnout, a skilful approach to define and eliminate the origination of the root-causes with a step-wise guided recovery is possible?
  • What if executive Burnout is strongly related to personal beliefs and to emotions/feelings ‘received’ in return for the work done and in the societal environment it takes place?
  • What if work that provided fulfilment for years on end – can suddenly loose its meaning?
  • What if it is possible and actually quite beneficial for the executive with a Burnout to return to work as quickly as possible, all the while receiving effective and measurable ‘in context’ support and guidance on the path of Burnout recovery?

All these questions can be answered with a wholehearted “YES”.

Origination of the causes of executive Burnout may be generalised and rationalised, but this does evidently not work. One of the very reasons a (pre-) executive Burnout situation has presented itself, is the intense inner focus to rationalise and logically explain the situation. 

Although executive Burnout is complex, there is in my humble opinion still a lot of naiveté on how to deal with Burnout. This is particularly true at the executive and senior leadership level. Once the executive is faced with Burnout it is clearly very hard to select from the array of so-called solutions and recovery ‘options’ available. This makes the situation and the feeling of ‘being stuck’ even more profound.

From my practical experience, all I can say is, that for as long as one has not dealt with the origination of the root-causes of Burnout, recurrence is close to inevitable. It is not just mere statistics, but for this reason, one repeatedly reads about Executive Burnout recurrence rates of up to 70%.


Perhaps interesting and a bit far-fetched at first to some, Burnout or being Burned-out does not have to be bad in and of itself. The situation may present itself initially as a dead-end street, even potentially leading to long-term unemployment or worse, but this fortunately does not have to be the case. 

What I have come to see in my work is that Burnout, when properly managed, is leading the executive through a ‘transformation street’. A personal transformation, which occurs when the executive first accepts the situation, and next, is open advanced techniques, defining and eliminating the origination of the root-causes. In such a case, effective executive Burnout recovery is not illusionary – it is effective and clearly measurable. 

It is my passion through my work to remove barriers to executive performance as much as possible. Furthermore, guiding the executive through a solid, practical and measurable effective Burnout prevention and recovery management approach. The personal cost to the executive of a Burnout is enormous and the economic costs are often unfathomable. 

As mentioned earlier, in my work, I emphasise the need for the executive to maintain a level of activity at work – or when I meet them when not working, to at least as quickly as possible, return to a level of activity at work. To be able to provide the Burnout guidance within the executive context is essential to recovery.

The simple advice some professionals provide that movement, eating and resting, will assist the executive to overcome Executive Burnout is not just plain dangerous, but is also totally overlooking the origination of its root-causes.

The origination of root-causes presents itself uniquely and non-standardly in every individual executive. The only aspect which is ‘standard’ in my Executive Burnout Prevention and Recovery Management approach is to define and remove the origination of the root-causes – how and what this turns out to be is truly individual and is uniquely defined by the executive’s personal situation.

My pathway is called the True Change™ Executive Coaching five (5) step plan. The pathway integrates behavioural biology, neuroscience, my extensive personal executive career, various forms of psychology, such as industrial, organisational, social and energy psychology.


  • Regained energy and passion for work
  • Personal transformation – Improved creativity, communication, personal and business relationships
  • Regained vision and clarity
  • Measurable and sustainable improvement of performance and success.

If you would like to discuss about effective executive Burnout prevention or recovery management, please contact me for a free confidential and no-obligation strategy consultation at Tel. (+31) (0)30 200 67 61 or via email at If you like, you may also use the website contact form

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