The Business Coach: Mastering Leadership Stress

(Last Updated On: September 30, 2013)
By Leon Jenkins, co-owner of DYP, Inc.

Stress is unavoidable if you are a business, organization or group leader. So it is imperative that you educate yourself bylearning how to maximize positive stress and minimize or eliminate negative stress. Over time, stress in general directly affects a leader’s mental and physical well being.The biggest asset a leader has in fighting off negative stress is his or her attitude (mindset) because “the body itself cannot physically discern between positive or negative stressors.”

It basically comes down to whether or not you, as a leader, see the glass as being half empty or half full; you see an uncertain situation as a potential problem or challenge or as a threat or opportunity.So, what is negative stress – the stress you should work at avoiding? Well it is created by those situations that have the potential of resulting in distress which often manifest itself in the form of:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Fear
  3. Discontent
  4. Depression
  5. Fatigue
  6. Physical ailments
  7. Withdrawal
If faced with negative stress from work or socially related situations, what are your possible solutions? I suggest that a leader do one or more of the following:
  1. Maintain a positive attitude (first and foremost)
  2. Exercise (this really works with the right attitude, but don’t overdue it)
  3. Eat healthy (great idea all the way around)
  4. Do some deep breathing (that’s it – breath in and out; in and out)
  5. Engage in laughter or a light-hearted moment (don’t over do it)
  6. Try Green Tea (nice and hot with a little mint)
  7. Pick up the phone and call a friend (a positive friend if you please)
  8. Take a break and listen to some relaxing music (I prefer some smooth jazz)
  9. Get enough rest (sleep) in between work days (7 to 8 hours should do it)
  10. Meditate and / or pray (Yes – God is able)

Now what is positive stress? Positive stress is often referred to as eustress, or healthy stress that results in a feeling of fulfillment or other positive feelings, outcomes or gains. Eustress is also referred to as controlled stress that gives one a competitive edge in performance-related activities.

Positive stress manifests itself most often when a leader regularly puts in to practice those solutions highlighted in items 1 through 10 above.Now it’s time to go to work on yourself, intent on leading and living a stress-healthy life.

References: 1. J. Kabat-Zinn. Full catastrophe living how to cope with stress, pain and illness using mindfulness meditation. (1996) 2. http://academic.cuesta.edu/wholehealth/index.htm.

The Business Coach: Mastering Leadership Stress