Most of us work under pressure, that is a given, but not many of us who work under pressure will have our work affect hundreds if not thousands. As a leader, CEO, boss, what we do, gets magnified, scrutinized, and maximized.
The idea that a leader can make decisions when times are under pressure, and still bring out the best in their people, is something that we can all learn from and certainly apply to our lives and leading.
As an executive coach to leading thought leaders around the world and as a business consultant I have seen qualities that leaders retain in order to become better leaders under pressure.
Here are things that they do and that we can do to emulate and echo great leaders qualities.
Manage your anxiety: Most people lose themselves in the stress of tension, but great leaders draw from their interpersonal skills to know that to lose control is not to manage well. They understand that courage is grace under pressure, so as leaders they learn to be bold, and manage their anxiety, even though their anxiety sometimes seems bolder than they are.
Maintain an optimistic attitude: Great leaders recognize that all kinds of risks and uncertainty can threaten their organization’s survival, and they know that becoming negative, and getting all critical is never going to make any stressful situation better, so they learn how to remain positive and have an optimistic attitude.
Find calm in chaos: Great leader know that if you cannot handle the pressure you cannot be successful, and therefore are all about finding clarity and coherence in times of chaos, they look for order, so they can find solutions that will make a difference not only for their company but for their people.
Look for those who can assist: Great leaders know you cannot do everything alone, you need others to help, assist, and to collaborate with, in times of stress, great leaders look for support, from those who are talented, skilled and capable, they work with them, to find solutions that will work.
Mold your own potential: Great leaders know they are only as good as what they know, they can only lead from how we are informed. Therefore, great leaders are constant learners they make the time to constantly learning new things, to up their game, what they knew yesterday, is not good enough for today, because pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the you are doing, therefore manage pressure, they work on molding their own potential, the better they are, the better equipped they are at handling the pressure.
Stay ahead of the curve: Great leaders try to stay ahead of the curve, they need to be present in the moment, but they are always planning for the future, the greatest leaders are always thinking what is my next step forward, when pressure mounts the calm has to prevail, so they can think what will be my next step, the more you know the better you can decide what is your next move is, you truly don’t know what you need to do, until you find yourself under pressure sometimes you learn best in calm, and some in chaos.
Continue to contribute to the cause: Great leaders know that to withstand stress, you need to be able to be grounded in something bigger than yourself, they are constantly and consistently grounding themselves and dedicating themselves to pursuing the noble cause of their company, organization or institution, they know that if purpose is the driver they will be able to prevail.
Lead from within: As Winston Churchill stated. “You can measure a man’s character by the choices he makes under pressure.” Great leaders handle their pressure, and because they do, those around them will respect them and trust them.
How do you handle pressure when it’s mounting? Share your thoughts.
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