How to Lead Better When Pressure Is Mounting

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 their 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 order 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 their 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.

Pressure is real, dealing with it is genuine, don’t allow the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be, prevent you from being who know you can be. Great leaders handle their pressure, and because they do, those around them will respect them and trust them.

Lead from withinAs Winston Churchill stated. you can measure a man’s character by the choices he makes under pressure.


N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images

Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

  1. Sam

    07. Mar, 2017


    You’re absolutely right in that every decision a leader makes gets scrutinized and picked apart. It’s too easy to judge someone when you don’t know them or realize the big picture mentality they are dealing with. Thanks for the helpful ideas.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Driving Directions

    19. Mar, 2017

    Thanks for your tips, I will remember them

    Reply to this comment
  3. liaqat

    29. Mar, 2017

    Dear Lolly,

    My observation and research about leadership “Leadership is God gifted quality, leader is a person who can predict the future/result, he who know what will be the results of which we are carrying out.


    Reply to this comment
  4. Kassidy Hardgrove

    20. Apr, 2017


    This blog has such great insight! My favorite part that you discussed was, “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.” So true! I need to work on not losing myself in the stress of tension.

    Thank you for sharing!


    Reply to this comment
  5. Kevin McReynolds

    21. Apr, 2017

    Wow, this is certainly very interesting. Personally I have always felt that people are born with leadership traits. Once human beings are of adult age, they have either developed solid leadership qualities or have not. If you possess those leadership qualities I believe that they have the potential to be enhanced, but only if someone has the foundation and traits of a leader. It is very hard to make people into someone that they are not.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Kyree Jackson

    23. May, 2017

    These are the leaders that we should strive to be like, to learn from, and to admire. the leaders who can take the pressure and make something out of it.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Nick

    17. Sep, 2017


    I think your comments are spot on.

    Thank you

    Reply to this comment

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