Manager’s are not okay

Leadership is hard.

Even with experience, mentorship, and sufficient onboarding it is a daily struggle.

But to step in as a manager with no training is almost impossible. It leads to frustrations, attrition, and burnout.

Look at this:

And this is the number I really want us to focus on: 43% of managers say they are burned out.


Your lack of development becomes a lack of an opportunity to disconnect. (And you deserve a chance to disconnect.)

At bare minimum, every manager deserves a training titled, “How to set boundaries.”

First, let’s do some quick maths on that 43% number. It’s hitting me hard and I’m thinking about you…

  • This email gets sent out to almost 26,000 business leaders twice a week. 
  • That means over 11,000 of you are currently struggling with burn out! 
  • That is more people than can fit in Red Rocks Amphitheater!


If you lead people, there is an almost 50% chance that you are personally struggling with burnout right now.

If you are, I’m sorry. It is not fun at all.

My friend Alex Friedman once said, “Taking a vacation won’t kill your business, but burnout will.” That stuck with me.

As leaders it can be difficult to set boundaries, because we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. 

  • Things need to get done. 
  • Will they get done if you aren’t there? 
  • What happens if they don’t get done?

It’s a lot of stress to deal with. But let’s help you let go and create needed breathing room.

Preventing burnout starts with setting boundaries

If you want to be at your best, you need to have time to refresh. (That rhymed!)

Let’s look at how you can set boundaries with grace.

How to set boundaries with grace

If you’re feeling the burnout blues, we’re here for you. It’s time to set boundaries with your team so you can:

  • refresh,
  • recharge,
  • and remember how to enjoy your freaking life.

Here are three tips to help you out:

1.Disconnect with Dignity: Time to Unplug

Hey, we get it. It’s tough to step away from the digital whirlwind when you’re in charge. But guess what? You deserve a break, too. Embrace the art of disconnecting by setting specific hours when you’re off the grid. And communicate them to your team! Don’t assume people know your team knows you need unplug time.

If you are always responding they might continue assuming “It’s no big deal” to reach out at odd hours.

And the truth is, sometimes you might be okay with it.

Let your team know when you will be unavailable, especially if being unavailable is new for you. Eventually this will become a habit.

A simple, “Hey team, I’ll be disconnecting after 5pm tonight, let me know if you need anything before then,” goes a long way.  

2. Empower the Troops: Delegate and Trust

You can’t do it all – nor should you. Empower your team by handing them the reins now and then. Delegate tasks to those who can handle them, and trust that they’ll deliver. When your team brings you problems, get in the habit of asking what they want to do. Resist the urge to immediately jump in and solve the problem yourself.

Also, be sure to communicate the why. It’s easier for them to pivot and make adjustments when problems arise when they understand WHY a project is important. This is a much better option than having them reach out to you every time something comes up.

By stepping back, you’re not only freeing up time for yourself but also nurturing growth and self-reliance in your team. It’s a win-win!

3.Open Door Policy, Meet Closed Door Policy

Sure, having an open-door policy is great for communication and team morale. But let’s be honest: sometimes, you need to shut the door and focus on your own work. Carve out regular blocks of time when your door is (figuratively or literally) closed to interruptions. It’ll help you maintain boundaries, boost productivity, and prevent the dreaded multitasking mayhem.

Does this help? Are you struggling with burn out? Let me know. Would love to be part of you finding more time for you.

Jacob Espinoza is a leadership coach in Salem, Oregon. For more information visit

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