The Most Effective Ways Leaders Handle Stress

Leadership is stressful even in the best of times. And leading through a time of crisis elevates that stress levels that often feel unmanageable. That’s why every leader needs to know how to strategically and effectively manage stress. Here are some things to remember when it feels like you have more than you can handle:

Prioritize self-care. The best leaders are selfless people working in pursuit of a higher purpose and serving their people. They’re quick to give up their personal time and energy to get the job done. But to be a good leader, you have to begin by taking care of your own mental and physical well-being. When you make self-care a priority, you strengthen yourself for the long run and set a good example for your team.

Learn to say no. Setting manageable priorities is important at any time, but in times of crisis it’s more important than ever. Think about the activities and projects that are absolutely central to your organization’s mission, and turn down the rest. Upholding clear priorities keeps your work sustainable and protects you and your team from burnout.

Narrow the focus. It’s easy to feel overburdened in difficult times, but when you lose focus you invite stress. As you plan your tasks for each day, maintain a tight view of what’s most important and reasonably attainable. Schedule less important tasks for the future, and delegate when you can.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. We live in a world where people think leaders need to do and know everything themselves. But asking for help—whether it’s in long-term planning, adapting a complex project to reflect new realities, or just getting through the stresses of the day—doesn’t make you weak. If anything, it makes you stronger and more human in your vulnerability.

Set healthy boundaries. At a time when the boundary between work and home life is even more blurred than usual, it’s important to find effective ways to keep it clear. Make a commitment to the time you give yourself every day, whether you spend it connecting with family and friends, reading, exercising, engaging in a prayer or meditation practice, or listening to music—whatever recharges you.

Lead by example. To show others that you don’t expect them to do it all, you need to begin by showing them how it’s done. Instead of micromanaging those around you, practice delegation and trust. Set a good example of effective practices, a balanced work life, positivity and self-care.

Lead from within: The best leaders understand that pushing yourself at maximum capacity 100 percent of the time yields no gains in your long-term performance.

 


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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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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, Inc.com, 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.

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