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The Biggest Pitfall of Executive Burnout


As a successful executive or entrepreneur, no one is really hopeful awaiting a (beginning) Burnout. And yet for very many it becomes a dire reality. A (beginning) Burnout cannot be timed, cannot be rationally controlled or reasoned, and unfortunately for many it is also not without relapse.

In my recently published article, I went into more detail about the emergence, recognition and recovery of a (beginning) executive or entrepreneurial Burnout. I also indicated that successful executives and entrepreneurs are not insured against getting a (beginning) Burnout because of their success.

In this article, I would like to highlight the biggest Burnout pitfall for the executive or entrepreneur.


The biggest pitfall for the executive or entrepreneur with (beginning) Burnout is one of rationalisation. Rationalising the (beginning) Burnout situation, and therefore seeking both the origination and the solution of the Burnout, almost exclusively in external factors.

Many executives or entrepreneurs are particularly skilled in analysing business situations, in planning, and in having strategy being implemented by an organisation, leading to successful results. Unfortunately, the same pattern is also followed when the executive or entrepreneur is faced with a (beginning) Burnout.

This leads to probably the biggest controversy – When a (beginning) burnout situation is being analysed at the action level and a plan and rational solution is being developed at this same level too – the executive or entrepreneur has just stepped in the biggest pitfall of (beginning) Burnout.

To me, one of the biggest misunderstandings in the relief efforts of (beginning) Burnout is that a good plan aimed at making changes in external action will create sustainable personal change.

For example, it is recommended to take compulsory breaks, to take training in time management methods, to say “no” more often and to provide even more rational solutions for this non-rational situation. Not that these kinds of things cannot be supportive to an executive or entrepreneur – one should however never expect for these to lead to sustainable recovery of (beginning) Burnout.

For information, the current burn-out relapse rate stands at around seventy (70) percent according to a variety of data sources!


Burnout is not what many people may think – a situation caused by too much work, which can be resolved and then be further prevented by action-oriented training and learning.

Preventing a (beginning) Burnout to occur is definitely far better than recovering from one. Also, it may be quite interesting to mention that prevention and recovery of a (beginning) Burnout is based on the same principles.

Executive or entrepreneurial Burnout is thus more than “Falling Rising and Moving Again”. To me, it is critical to provide an executive or entrepreneur with (beginning) Burnout, as quickly as possible grip at the situation again, by clearly mapping root causes of the Burnout and systematically and step-wise removing them.

In my practice, I use my proprietary True Change™ Executive Coaching. A five (5) step roadmap, which assists in mapping and removing root causes, and rediscovering lost vision and personal space – something that is urgently needed for successful reintegration and sustainable burnout recovery.

Furthermore, as part of the process, the executive or entrepreneur learns relatively simple, yet very powerful executive performance tools. This way, contributions to sustainable change can be made, not just in the current situation, but also in future situations. This will practically support the executive or entrepreneur in a way, so that she/he can make confident choices and exercise her/his duties with passion.

Would you like to know how Stress-Fit™ you may be at this time, or would you like to receive more information about True Change™ Executive Coaching and perhaps plan a free strategy coaching session? Please contact me confidentially and without obligation: Tel. +31(0)23-576 7581, or email me at: Alternatively, you may also use the Top-Coach website contact form to contact me.

I wish you good health and continuous success,

Johan F. Reinhoudt

CEO/owner Top-Coach and Certified Master Executive Coach

Photo credit:

Johan Reinhoudt

Ik ben oprichter en directeur van Top-Coach, Master Executive Coach, ervaren internationaal visionair leider en ervaren expat met jarenlange achtergrond in de gezondheidszorg en life-sciences industrie. Ik heb een uitgebreide professionele ervaring als executive leider van wereldwijde hoogproductieve teams/organisaties en ook als turn-around en managementconsultant in het transformeren van organisaties. Ik ben het best bekend door mijn contextuele executive coaching en het creëren van leiderschap met hoge persoonlijke prestaties, effectieve teams en organisaties.

Ik woon momenteel in de regio Utrecht en werk in een persoonlijk gesprek met executives en met executive teams in de Nederlandse en Engelse taal, in organisaties door geheel Nederland en ook internationaal.

Als executive coach en ervaren luisteraar, snelle denker en vanuit mijn passie voor mensen, leiderschap en gezonde bedrijfsvoering, begeleid ik executives, executive expats en repatratiates “in-executive context” naar een hoger prestatieniveau en een gezonde gewenste werksituatie, door gebruik te maken van het door mij speciaal voor executives ontwikkelde True Change™ Executive Coaching – een persoonlijk ontwikkelingstraject en vijf-stappenplan.

Tel. 030-200 6761

I am the founder and CEO of Top-Coach, Master Executive Coach, experienced international visionary leader and experienced expat with years of background in the healthcare and life sciences industry. I also have extensive professional experience as an executive leader of global high-productive teams/organisations and as a turnaround and management consultant in the transformation of organisations. I am best known for my contextual executive coaching and to creating leadership with high personal performance, effective teams and organizations.

I currently live in the Utrecht region and work with executives and executive teams through in-person consultations in Dutch or English, in organizations throughout the Netherlands and also internationally.

As an executive coach and experienced listener, fast thinker and based on my passion for people, leadership and healthy business, I guide executives, executive expats and repatriates "in-executive context" to a higher level of performance and a healthy, desired work situation, by using my proprietary True Change™ Executive Coaching – a personal development trajectory and five-step program.

Tel. (+31) (0)30-200 6761

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