An article published in the USA Today stated that most employees today are opting to maintain a frontline position and forgo the opportunity for middle management. One reason cited was to avoid the stress. A common misnomer amongst employees today is that being a leader is synonymous with being riddled with stress. However, to the contrary, good leadership focuses on properly managing the variables in a problem and averting the stress.
The adrenaline rush accompanied with any intense situation is useful; but any associated stress is a counter productive by-product of misappropriated emotions. More potential leaders should experience the unparalleled joy of helping another person maximize their potential by learning how to tackle issues without being deterred by the perceived stress. It is possible to be a leader or manager without overdosing on antacids.

Here are seven strategies for how to resolve an intense situation without taking away unwanted stress:

  1. Work the problem and not a personality.
  2. Don’t take criticism or failure personally.
  3. Don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve. Problems often need more thought and less emotion.
  4. Delegate tasks to responsible and competent parties only.
  5. Listen and communicate carefully; and always clarify.
  6. Only set and accept realistic timelines and expectations.
  7. Resolve that it is ok to personally do whatever is required to get the job done.

Leadership should be a natural fit; and, therefore, enjoyable with the normal fatigue associated with any exertion. Stress is a signal that something (usually emotion) is out of alignment and that adjustments should be considered.

Michael McFadden is a leadership & performance expert, speaker, and author.

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