Michael Levitt, Chief Burnout Officer – Founder at Breakfast Leadership Network

Speaker’s Corner: Featuring Michael Levitt, Founder, Breakfast Leadership Network

Tell me about the Breakfast Leadership Network and its projects…

The Breakfast Leadership Network was born out of the need to bring awareness of what burnout is, how to identify burnout, and how to prevent it from happening in your work and home life.  The organization is comprised of the Breakfast Leadership Show, a top 200 global podcast on Apple Podcasts, business and burnout prevention on the company blog, speaking and consulting on burnout and workplace culture, and several books and resources on burnout.

What are the challenges within the management consultancy industry today? What are the ways we can effectively mitigate risks? 

Companies have so many issues to deal with, that they are overwhelmed with all that needs to be done.  Instead of bringing in management consultants to cut through the noise, companies either try (and often fail) to fix things internally or worse, they don’t do anything at all.

To what extent has the COVID-19 pandemic affected mental health at the workplace? What are the current trends within the sector? 

Burnout rates have increased during the pandemic, and we’re seeing significant numbers of people quitting their jobs, due to the stress those roles have provided.  Isolation from co-workers has created increased mental health challenges because humans are supposed to interact in person, and not over a Zoom call all the time.

Could you share with us the points of discussion (the input that you provided) during the panel(s) at the SHRM Talent Conference & Expo?

Burnout can be prevented, too many people are working long hours, which impacts their physical and mental health, and how COVID has changed how we work.

As a leader, what are the factors both professional and personal that drive you? What keeps you going? 

A strong desire to continue learning and educating myself on subjects that help me grow has been a game-changer for me.

In your opinion, do digital events give you a similar level of feedback/result vis-à-vis the live versions? What would you say were the biggest pros and cons of both formats? Which do you prefer? 

For the virtual events that ask for speaker feedback, I’ve found those comments and feedback quite useful to refine my talks.  Cons is that you don’t get to interact with attendees after the talks as easily in a virtual format.  I love both digital and live, but a good hybrid is to pre-record the event and have a live Q & A session.

What is your take on in-person events? Do you prefer in-person events as compared to hybrid or virtual? How soon do you think in-person events would return?

At the time of this interview, I’m thinking in-person events won’t likely fully return until 2023, but hopefully hybrid will remain an option for speakers and attendees.  I’m looking forward to more in-person events as this pandemic (eventually) ends.

In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges to returning to ‘In-Person’ events? How could we mitigate risks?

Challenge 1 is current case numbers.  With a majority of people being vaccinated, eventually, we will need to come to grips with COVID being here for the long haul, and we have to determine when to start living our lives and not go back into lockdowns again.  Challenge 2 is bringing in enough attendees to make the event profitable, and able to compensate speakers for their time.  Challenge 3 is any travel restrictions that could prevent some attendees and/or speakers from attending in person.

About Michael: Michael Levitt is the founder & Chief Burnout Officer of the Breakfast Leadership Network, a San Diego and Toronto-based burnout media firm. He is a Keynote speaker, host of the Breakfast Leadership show, a Certified NLP and CBT Therapist, a Fortune 500 consultant, and author of the new book BURNOUT PROOF. Michael’s A Top 20 Global Thought Leader on HR & Culture with Thinkers360. and a former Healthcare executive, overseeing $ 2 Billion in budgets. Michael Levitt has spoken to thousands of people around the world. In this talk, he will teach you some of the most important things he’s learned about burnout prevention

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