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Is quitting ever a good thing? Can it be a smart decision for a leader to quit or is it always a sign of weakness?

In today’s episode of Sidecar Water Cooler, we’ll be tackling just that – burnout. 

I just read on the news that the New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern unexpectedly announced her resignation on January 18th. Political experts were surprised by her decision given her popularity and competence as a leader.

But what's more surprising was her reasoning.

Jacinda Ardern said in her speech to the nation that she “no longer had enough in the tank to lead.”

I mean, isn't that interesting?

When do we ever hear of a leader who resigns because they feel burned out? Mind you, burnout is not a new concept. I was even recognized by the World Health Organization as an occupational phenomenon in 2019. 

But is this a sign of maturity or a sign of weakness? I mean isn't quitting a weakness?

This article in the Daily Mail makes some great points. Ardern’s decision to step down shows that she understands the importance of self-care and putting her well-being first. By making the decision to step down, Ardern ensured the continuation of success and prevented any negative consequences that may arise from staying in a role she no longer is capable of handling.

I think that's very responsible. But is it a sign of leadership to just quit?

Experts say that knowing when to step down is not a weakness Jacinda Ardern’s resignation is a master class in leading and knowing when to quit. In fact, every leader manager or CEO should have the ability to self-reflect and have the emotional intelligence to recognize when it's time to step down and make way for someone else to lead. 

Okay. That sounds great. So what should a leader manager or CEO do if they feel burn out? 

They should prioritize self-care. Make time for activities like exercise reading or spending time with family and friends. They should also take more breaks, manage stress and delegate more tasks. And finally seeking support whether it be from a therapist or a trusted colleague can be very helpful.

I hope you're all taking care of your mental and physical health.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this issue. So if you have any comments, please drop them below and keep following the sidecar water cooler show for more nourishing conversations. 

Until we meet next time, have a great week, and stay hydrated.

Introducing Sidecar Water Cooler

We at Sidecar recognize that, with the growing number of remote organizations, many workplaces today miss the good old water cooler chats we enjoyed in brick-and-mortar offices. So we decided to make a video series that would bring a little of this taste back into your days.

From burnout to AI, we’ll be exploring all the topics that are top of mind for associations with plenty of fun twists and experimentation.

Tamer Ezzat
Post by Tamer Ezzat
January 31, 2023
Tamer Ezzat is a curious filmmaker with a unique visual style. He studied digital special effects at NYU and has been working in media for over 20 years. When he’s not editing, he enjoys biking and laying on the sandy beaches of Long Island, where he lives with his wife and daughter.