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Keep the Passion: Avoid the secret burden of mentor burnout

There you are, kicking ass and taking names, climbing the ladder of success rung by rung without skipping a beat. You’ve climbed through the already broken glass ceiling, and the view is spectacular. Women below you applaud you, while your peers celebrate your accomplishments and the executive leadership team encourages you to keep going.

You see the woman hired after you and offer guidance. Then there are two women, four women, thirty-four women. The ladder you’ve been climbing starts to shift as mentorship has now been added to your responsibilities. Why? Because you are your company’s woman-in-leadership.

Marcy Stoudt Revel Coach

The more I became the go-to women-in-leadership, the more I fueled a flaw I was trying to keep a secret: I started playing small. I had slowed down investing in my personal leadership development. I felt I didn’t have the time to ask growth-minded questions and stopped asking for feedback or what it would take to go further. Worst of all, I felt shame whenever I doubted myself. After all, aren’t I supposed to be an expert? Didn’t I already have it figured out? Wasn’t I the example as the “only” female Vice President in a $3 Billion company?

I recall sitting in my car after a company-wide women-in-leadership meeting. As the keynote speaker, I looked the part--dressed in my navy maternity business suit and heels--ready to espouse advice on leadership. As the audience applauded, I felt relief. I faked it again. What others couldn’t see was the absolute chaos at the Stoudt house. Our toddler got our nanny sick, or was it the other way around? Either way, my husband and I haven’t slept the past few nights, and we both had priority meetings that day.

With my hands on the steering wheel, I realized I hadn’t figured it all out. I was at risk of genuine burnout as I tried to live up to others' expectations and the ones I created for myself. It’s complex, but it’s not impossible. Eventually, I did burn out and left an organization that cared more about me than my title.

What’s the lesson in my example?

Never stop investing in yourself. And, never underestimate how much we put on women’s plates because of their passion for serving others. We say YES to mentoring because we are passionate about helping others, we want women to succeed, and we’re tired of the dismal statistics of women in leadership numbers. But we must be mindful that there is never a one-size-fits-all solution for working moms AND dads. We don’t have to have it all figured out. It’s an ongoing practice to balance these challenges. Start by learning to enjoy everyday moments to reduce stress so we continue on our journey before burnout carries us away.


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Marcy Stoudt Revel Coach Co-Founder

Marcy Stoudt is a seasoned sales leader dedicated to shaping the future of talent acquisition and executive coaching. As the founder of Revel Search and Revel Coach, Marcy collaborates with corporate clients to develop innovative strategies for attracting, advancing, and retaining top-tier talent.

During her 22 years at Allegis Group, Marcy was TEKsystems's first female Vice President. She led a team of 300 producers and delivered four consecutive years of revenue results at 18% CAGR, averaging $320 million annually. While at MarketSource, she established the Customer Experience Strategy for the Target Mobile outsourced sales team at 1,540 Target locations, fostering executive-level relationships with Target and Apple.

The Revel Coach™ Blog is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not mental health, financial, business or legal advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any medical, mental or emotional condition. The information presented here is not a guarantee that you will obtain any results or earn any money using our content.


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