Michael Levitt started Breakfast Leadership because his favorite meal is breakfast, and because he knew that the best time to get a C-suite executive’s attention was early in the morning, before they went down to the trenches.
At Breakfast Leadership Network, a media firm based in San Diego and Toronto, Michael Levitt helps business leaders and managers prevent burnout, or otherwise recover from it. He is a certified virtual speaker, and he is also an in-person speaker. Likewise, Michael is a certified NLP and CBT therapist; he is also a consultant for several Fortune 500 companies, a best-selling author, and host the Breakfast Leadership Show, which is one of the top 200 podcasts on Apple Podcasts. And that’s not all. Among his other achievements are being named one of the Top 20 Thought Leader on Culture with Thinkers360, and being a former healthcare executive, where he oversaw $2 billion budgets.
Michael Levitt’s two books are “369 Days: How to Survive a Year of Worst-Case Scenarios,” and “Pre-emptive Strike Leadership: Neutralizing Behavioral Threats That Are Infiltrating Your Organization,” which he co-wrote.
For the Breakfast Leadership Show, Michael Levitt helps everyone, not just executives, manage stress and prevent burnout. By preventing burnout, you’re free to do what you need to do, and to finish the tasks that really matter. He interviews several “global thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and marketing experts” to educate the public about the right steps to grow personally and professionally.
Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Michael Levitt: Burnout consulting is not for the faint of heart. You get to work with organizations and individuals that are struggling with so many different issues. I worked with a client a while back that was an executive, and she was having a difficult time at work establishing boundaries. Emails all day, night and weekend, and wasn’t living her ideal life. Once we started working together and she started implementing boundaries with her boss and at home, her life drastically changed. I found out a couple months later that she and her husband had been trying to start a family for a couple years without success. She called me and told me that since she’s been more relaxed, she was expecting her first child. I joke with clients that if you work with me, you could get pregnant. Wait, that doesn’t sound like it should, lol.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Michael Levitt: Establish firm boundaries around when you work, and when you don’t. So many of us have laptops or tablets that we work on all day and night, and we’re not spending time doing non-work things. Schedule those “self care” things FIRST in your calendar, and don’t cancel those appointments with yourself.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Michael Levitt: I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work with great coaches and mentors over the years, but I still go back to the support my parents gave me, through good times and my 369 days, that gave me the courage and confidence to do great things.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. Delegating effectively is a challenge for many leaders. Let’s put first things first. Can you help articulate to our readers a few reasons why delegating is such an important skill for a leader or a business owner to develop?
Michael Levitt: Delegating is crucial for the success of your business, to prevent personal burnout in yourself, and it creates opportunities for others.
I was horrible at delegating, and it led to my burned out state back in 2009. Now, I try to delegate as much as I can, so that I focus on only what I can do.
We are all limited by time, and we can only do so much within a day/week/month/year/career. Delegating tasks that we aren’t great at, allows us to focus on work that we enjoy doing, and that we are good at performing.
Delegating provides growth opportunities for your team, so they can grow and learn new skills that benefits your company.
Jerome Knyszewski: Can you help articulate a few of the reasons why delegating is such a challenge for so many people?
Michael Levitt: We can be impatient if someone takes longer than we would to perform a task or project. We always think we can do it better. If we work on everything, we won’t grow the business or ourselves, and we won’t have time to enjoy life.
Delegating gives the opportunity to others to be creative in their own way. I advise leaders to give clear instructions on the task/project to be done, and then let their employees do it their own way.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your opinion, what pivots need to be made, either in perspective or in work habits, to help alleviate some of the challenges you mentioned?
Michael Levitt: Improved communication. We think as leaders we are clear to our employees, but we don’t verbalize or write out every single step in a process. Those steps stay in our heads, and unless your employees can mind read, they’re missing some things that could be important in the work they do.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Michael Levitt: Educating organizations that burning out their employees does impact the bottom line, increases absenteeism, mental and physical health issues, and employee morale. These impact your deliverables to your customers/clients, and eventually those clients will go elsewhere for their products and services.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Michael Levitt: BreakfastLeadership.com or on social media under that @Bfastleadership handle. They can also go to https://BreakfastLeadership.com/tools for free resources to help prevent burnout in their lives.
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
Michael Levitt: It was my pleasure to be with you today!