Tired Or Weary- The Importance Of This Distinction for Leaders

Like Don't move Unlike

Are you tired, or are you weary?

At the end of a long day all you want to do is to put your feet up and relax.

Are you tired, or are you weary?

You look at your planning calendar and instead of responding with excitement, you feel mostly overwhelmed.

Are you tired, or are you weary?

Every leader will get tired from time to time. But weariness? That’s another matter, and it has deeper implications.

Being tired is a temporary physical condition, easily remedied by a good night’s sleep. Weariness, on the other hand, is a depletion of a leader’s emotional, physical, relational and even spiritual reserves.

And it can diminish a leader’s effectiveness.

How does a leader bounce back from the condition of weariness?

Remember these 3 “R’s”…


Leaders must have the self-awareness to know if the fatigue factor they are experiencing is from being merely tired, or from weariness. You must be able to spot whether the depletion is simply from a lack of sleep, or whether it is something more than that.

Global Leadership Summit founder Bill Hybels has noted that leaders must carve out reflection time every day. And it is during these daily moments of self-reflection that you must do an audit of your physical, emotional, relational and spiritual energy reserves. If these are depleted, you could be dealing with a weariness issue.


Weariness is not fixed simply with a good night’s sleep. Self-leadership requires that you respond with a declaration that you will not allow the present pattern to continue. You will identify the factors that have been draining your tank and you will intercept those patterns.


Replenishment must be customized. What will replenish one leader could be very different than what will replenish another. For one leader it is recreation, for another it’s time with good friends. For one leader it’s found in spiritual practices, for another it’s found in robust exercise.

Usually, replenishment is found in a combination of all of these.

The next time you find yourself flopping onto the couch at the end of a long day and letting out a long sigh, ask yourself, “Am I tired, or am I weary?”

If you think you might be weary, start figuring out your replenishment plan.

Because your leadership requires you to operate with a full tank.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *