Four Ways Stress Is Screwing You As A Leader
Let's be honest.
Being a leader can be stressful. Managing a business or a team of people is not easy.
Whether you're the CEO, Managing Director or a team leader. It's stressful. You're managing different moving parts. Peoples expectations. Your expectations. All the while trying to service customers and clients. Heck, anyone would feel overwhelmed.
However, that's not the worse part. That stress can be screwing you as a leader.
I know, I know. How can it be so?
Let's have a look at why.
1) Decision Making
Decision making is one of the most important jobs you have as a leader.
Making decisions is a vital part of being a leader. The company depends on it. Your team depends on it.
However, stress doesn't usually bode well with decision making.
Being stressed can lead a person to be reactionary instead of being proactive.
It can cause indecisiveness. It also reduces creativity.
Creativity can be an important part of decision making. Having the ability to think outside the box can be useful when solving problems.
Stress can rob that from leaders.
Decision making can be the make or break in some situations. Which, in itself, will cause heightened stress. However, if you are under constant stress and anxiety for a prolonged period, you are putting your decision-making ability at risk!
2) Mental Clarity and Focus.
Ahh, those times when you can think clearly and focus for hours. It's as if everything comes into clear view and nothing can stop you.
Then come those days when it feels like every thought you're trying to have is like walking through a field of mud.
It's a like having brain lag. No matter how hard you try to concentrate, you can't quite grasp anything.
Not being able to think clearly or concentrate will cause frustration and fatigue. All of which, you don't need when you are leading a company and a team of people.
Stress can cause brain fog, which in turn can exacerbate stress and anxiety. It's a vicious cycle. It's like being on a hamster wheel that never ends.
There are changes you can make to help brain fog. You can change your diet, drink more water and get more sleep.
However, the best thing you can do is manage your stress.
3) Frustration and Anger.
You know those bosses or leaders who are known to be snappy, aggressive and constantly on the warpath?
Yeah, that's not what an inspirational leader looks like.
Being a leader isn't all about barking orders and getting people to do what you want them to.
You need to inspire and motivate while ensuring that your team are hitting their goals and deadlines. It's a fine art.
However, stress and anxiety can get in the way of that.
Of course, being a leader is stressful. There are times when people in your business or team are going to be the direct cause of your frustration and anger.
However, if acted upon, will screw you as a leader.
If you are unable to keep your cool in a time of crisis and "spit the dummy" every time things get stressful, then your team are going lose faith in you.
Stress and anxiety can cause anger and frustration. Which, then leads to a break down in communication. That break down in communication can fuel frustration and anger. What's that? The vicious cycle has returned?
Being a leader requires you to have good communication. Have the ability to lead with a level head.
That doesn't mean you're not human and can never be angry or frustrated.
However, it does mean you need to have a better coping mechanism.
4) Destroying Your Health.
I have harped on this for a while now.
Stress and anxiety take a huge toll on your body. It lowers your immune system, changes your inflammatory response and reduces your ability to digest food.
These can lead to really severe health issues.
Being a leader doesn't mean you have to go to the gym for hours on end or have a ridiculous diet.
However, physically being able to do the job IS essential.
If you can't physically get into the office, then how useful can you be as a leader?
You need to take care of your health first. Not only for the business but also fo you.
Is it all doom and gloom? No, you can run a successful business, manage stress and anxiety and be an inspiring leader all in one.
You need to dedicate some of your time developing and refining skills to manage stress.
Stress doesn't have to a part of your everyday life.
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