Becoming a Truly Great Executive Through Personal Leadership
by Mark Steinke, Chief Strategy Officer at The Barrett Group
To be a great leader, you must first master the art of Personal Leadership. This is the first of four topics on how to increase, develop and demonstrate your Personal Leadership so you and your business skyrockets to the heights you deserve!
It all Starts with YOU! How you handle stress is critical to your personal success and business success. You see it is not the issue you are facing that is causing your stress. It is YOUR reaction to that issue that is causing your stress. Let that sink in for a minute…
“85% of what people worry about never happened…”
Don Joseph Goewey
Leadership requires consistent high performance coupled with a calm, clear mind and the ability to maintain a high degree of objectivity toward yourself and your business. Stress is rampant. An important step toward becoming an authentic leader, then, is to learn to successfully and gracefully manage the inevitable stress that will come your way. Let’s look at the sources of stress.
According to Don Joseph Goewey, author of the book, “The end of Stress, four steps to rewire your brain” states “85% of what people worry about never happened and with the 15 percent that did happen, 79 percent of subjects discovered either they could handle the difficulty better than expected, or the difficulty taught them a lesson worth learning.
This means that 97 percent of what you worry over is not much more than a fearful mind punishing you with exaggerations and misperceptions.”
A simple four step process can help you dealing with your stress:
- Clearly define your worry in writing
- Determine the worst thing that could happen if this worry comes true
- Having defined the worst result, resolve to accept it
- Set about doing your best to ensure this worry will not occur now that you have a clear mind
LACK OF MEANING
When stress arrives, typically our minds go to what is going on with my life… Why is this happening to me? This resonates if one does not have a clearly defined meaning and purpose. You see when you are confident and know what you are and why you are, then mapping this worry against it allows you to define it, determine an antidote and vanquish your worry.
THE “INCOMPLETE ACTION”
A job or task not done or an employee of yours not doing what they should correctly for a client can be a source of enormous stress. It is time to employ the four steps in the worry section so you show self-discipline and keep a clear mind. Do not let not completing tasks or doing the tasks “incorrectly” drive your stress. Coach, teach and show Personal Leadership.
FEAR OF FAILURE
Some of us allow a fear of failure to cause us stress. Fear is a great emotion. It is powerful, can be very healthy if we take it as a motivator to focus, concentrate, remove distractions, and act in a way that we know we can. Whatever the results of your proactive actions, they very probably better for you than the paralyzing result of no action or action motivated by fear. Affirm to yourself that you can do what needs to be done, do it, and then adjust based on the outcome.
FEAR OF REJECTION
The need for approval to some is so strong that fear of rejection is scary. As a leader sometimes you need to be on the island by yourself. That is not a bad thing. It is a temporary state until the team, clients, and/or partners start to understand. When they do, they will slowly move over to your island. Stay in the belief that rejection is not permanent and worst case only temporary.
Probably the biggest stress source to overcome is denial. Refusing to acknowledge and face unpleasant reality is a sign of weakness. Do not let embarrassment, loss of face or even pain be the driver for you or anyone else to deny what is or could be happening. Victory over this starts with acknowledgement!
The most powerful and damaging emotion is anger. This negative emotion destroys relationships and cultures in companies. Anger comes from within. Henry David Thoreau, a noted poet, wrote: “No one can make you feel bad unless you let them.”
You cannot control the people and circumstances in your life. You can only control how you respond to them.
When your anger flares up, put a trigger in your head that will remind you to stop, pause, think and resolve without anger. This is very hard… but very important.
In all honesty, the issue making you angry most likely is NOT a 911, end-of-the-world issue. Put it in perspective.
Personal Leadership is the most important skill you need to develop, and demonstrate in your business. Over the next few articles we will identify the other three behaviors to develop so you can show your truly great Leadership.
Read more: Anxiety… isn’t Good for You!