Every organization and team has times where everyone is stretched, stress abounds and even times where it seems things are going backward for a while. It could be a crisis or an exceptionally busy season. It could be internal or external issues causing the stressful times. During these seasons, good leadership is more critical than ever.
Mature leaders know the way they respond in stress will directly impact the organization and everyone attempting to follow them.
Here are five mature ways for a leader to respond during stressful times:
A level head
A leader must display a calmness in the midst of crisis. If the leader panics, everyone panics. Trying times test a team, and the leader needs to add a calmness to the situation, helping assure people everything will be OK. This does not mean giving a false hope. People should understand reality, but it does mean helping people find their sense of balance in the midst of what may seem hopeless in their minds.
There will always be temptations to give up under stress. A leader walks by faith and keeps the team moving forward. You can read the hard lesson I learned about this issue in my post of advice to the leader when things are going wrong. Through good times and the bad times the leader must stand firm.
Character is tested during stressful times. A leader must remain unquestioned in his or her integrity for the health of the team and organization. People will watch to see how a leader responds. What a leader says or does will be taken seriously and subject to people’s own interpretations. This is why we must strive to be above reproach.
Decisions are harder to make but more important during stressful times. The leader must think strategically for the organization—helping to steer toward clarity and progress. (Read a post about thinking strategically in the moment HERE.)
Leaders must remain healthy personally in order to continue to lead the organization. There will be a tendency to never leave the office, but during times of stress, the leader must continue to exercise, eat well and be disciplined in rest. The leader must guard his or hear heart spiritually, knowing temptation is especially powerful under duress. The health of the leader directly impacts the health of the team.
Leader, have you ever had to lead during especially stressful times? Are you there now?
What would you add to my list?