Along with leading a company through these challenging economic times comes stress. Stress from driving sales. Stress from managing expenses. Stress from keeping employees motivated and productive – not getting caught up in the constant barrage of bad economic news. Stress from making more tough decisions and hoping they’re the right ones. Yes, leadership has its privileges, but leadership can also be a pressure cooker if you don’t manage your stress levels.
- Focus on the positive signs of recovery: Every recession has a recovery. It’s easy to get caught up in the gloom and doom of bad times. But this recession is already showing the telltale signs that it has bottomed out. Economists report that April showed a surge in consumer confidence. All it takes is a trickle of good economic news to begin pulling the recovery tide back in.
- Target the next 18 months: The heck with five-year plans – concentrate on where you want your company to be 18 months from now. Simply put: what do you want your company to look like on the other side of this recession? Set short-range goals and strategies to achieve them. You’ll be defining your stepping-stones to growth.
- Lighten up: There’s no better cure for stress than laughter and having some fun. Have a pizza party for lunch or company barbeque. Heck, dress up like a clown. Lead an impromptu company cheer. Take your leadership bowling or to a ball game. No contests here – we want everyone to be winners and laugh a bit.
- Get up and move that body: I go to spin class, lift weights and ride my road bike about 100+ a week. I feel great. It keeps my stress under control and that keeps everyone around me happy.
- Work with a coach: It’s well documented that the best leaders use a coach. A good business coach will keep you sharp, focused and hold you accountable for making progress. You’ll have a sounding board for your ideas and that ever-important outlet when you need to vent. If you don’t have a coach, call me.
- Take time to appreciate your achievements: If you’re in business today, you’re doing something right. Step back and personally acknowledge the things you did well and the things you did right. Don’t give energy to the bad decisions. Doing so fuels stress.