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Ride the thoroughbred, but don’t be surprised when they burn out.

Updated: Apr 1

Ride the thoroughbred

A very long time ago, a friend shared the theory of “Ride the Thoroughbreds” with me. This explanation came in response to me once again getting additional responsibilities added to my already long list.

You may be familiar with...

Don’t Ride the Dead Horse (a much more famous saying)

The real quote is---

“If you find out you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount and get a new horse”

I guess “Ride the thoroughbreds” came as the antithesis of this.

In the horse world, a thoroughbred is a horse who is bred to race.

They are literally born to win. Thoroughbreds are considered "hot-blooded" horses that are known for their agility, speed, and spirit.

Sound like your best fundraiser(s)?

If the answer is YES, you are lucky.

You have a passionate individual who will learn, share and deliver funds to your cause. They will do the extra task, make the additional call and always be ready to run.

  • Do you support them?

  • Do you coach them to the next level?

  • Do you praise them the way they like to be celebrated (many, but not all, like public praise; some prefer private congrats)

  • Do you count on them as the ones to deliver in a pinch? Does that lead you to count on them more than you count on others?

  • Do they end up doing other people’s work?

  • Do you coach them on saying no?

  • Do you help them discover what is most important and what can wait on their to-do list?

  • Do you say Thank you often?

Do you make sure that you are monitoring their burnout?

All that hot blood often leads to *burnout.

But, being a thoroughbred may mean they don’t even recognize it as they just keep running.

I am sure by now you see where I am going.

My name is Sharon Kitroser- I have loved being a thoroughbred on teams. I have loved managing, coaching, and growing thoroughbreds.

And indeed, I am one of those people who may not know when it is time to stop for a water break.

I have had managers who figured it out. I have managers who were so myopic they missed it.

Be the manager that feels lucky to have one of these individuals on your team.

And...If you need some help training and coaching these magnificent achievers...please drop me a note. It would be an honor for our team of Thorobreds to help you!


Like any other condition, the trick to managing burnout successfully is to catch early symptoms and begin treating them right away. Burnout is not an overnight phenomenon.

The official definition of burnout includes three main criteria. However, the early indicators of burnout can be subtle and look different for different people. Here are some easy-to-ignore early signs of job burnout:

Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion” might look like feeling exhausted no matter how much sleep you get, inability to relax, changes in sleep patterns, body aches, getting or feeling sick more frequently, skipping meals, feeling listless, and lack of motivation in non-work areas of life. “Increased mental distance from one’s job” can show up as avoidance, irritability, procrastination, forgetfulness, lack of concentration, arriving late or leaving work early, cynicism, and trouble following through on or completing tasks. “Reduced professional efficacy” could manifest as unwillingness to communicate with colleagues, delays in completing important tasks, lack of interest in continuing education and improving skills, working on other projects during work time, and feeling lost or disconnected in meetings.

In case you missed it-

This year's Kentuck Derby introduced us all to a secret Thoroughbred--

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