The Journal Gazette
Sunday, June 09, 2019 1:00 am

WHO details occupational burnout

LISA GREEN | The Journal Gazette

Haven't you heard? Burnout is real.

It may not be a medical condition, but it is an occupational phenomenon. The World Health Organization in late May said burnout is included in the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.

“Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:

• feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion

• increased mental distance from one's job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job

• reduced professional efficacy.”

The World Health Organization said burnout refers specifically to “phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.”

It's actually not the first time the organization has associated burnout with the workplace. 

Its May 28 news release noted that burnout was also included in the 10th International Classification of Diseases, but the definition is now more detailed.

“The World Health Organization is about to embark on the development of evidence-based guidelines on mental well-being in the workplace,” the release said.

Many workers, and certainly managers, would welcome that.

Ellen and Stedman

I love “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

OK. Confession. I rarely watch the entire show.

But it comes on just before the 5 p.m. local newscast, which I do try to catch on weekdays, so I often turn up the volume about 10 minutes before.

What I love about Ellen is she often closes the show by featuring a guest who is trying to make a positive difference in the world, and it is not uncommon, thanks to the philanthropy of corporations, that Ellen finds a way to give generous gifts of monetary donations to the guests. 

On the last Friday in May, one of the last guests was Stedman Graham, known by many as Oprah Winfrey's significant other. Although Graham entertained the obvious and perhaps obligatory relationship questions, he was there to talk about his book, “Identity Leadership: Discover Your Power and Potential by Revealing Who You Are.”

Stedman said he hasn't found Oprah's popularity daunting to who he is. He wants the best for her, he said. He's been able to define himself by focusing on his own skills, and is happy with where he is.

A book description on Graham's website describes it as a “personal and prescriptive guide” based on the philosophy that you can't lead others until you can first lead yourself. The more you “work on yourself, the more you can give to those around you.”

And in typical “Ellen” show style, each member in the audience was going to receive a copy of “Identity Leadership” to take home.

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears online as a blog at

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