Under Pressure

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Blog, Resources

CEOs, Executive Team Members and Leaders of all kinds all have one thing in common:  Pressure.  And they don’t talk about it. The pressure that keeps them awake at night, or wakes them up in the middle of the night.  They might not even breathe certain pressures to their spouse or closest friends.

Pressure can be good.  Good pressure enables us to rise above the fray, to do what might seem impossible, to achieve more than we ever thought we were capable of.  It can be a motivator, a competitive edge and an instigator of new ideas.  

Pressure can also create anxiety, doubt, and confusion.  Most leaders we talk to about pressure mention words like:

  • Failure
  • Letting the board down
  • Letting the company down
  • Letting the team down
  • Wonder if they’re good enough
  • Do they have what it takes?

What happens when we lead out of pressure or fear?  We tend to rely on what we’re comfortable with. And typically that is the tangible side of business; systems, hiring new staff, balance sheets, sales and marketing, etc… And we neglect the “intangible” or “soft” side of business; clarity, culture, casting vision and aligning teams around a rally cry.  When this happens, silos, politics and turf wars begin to emerge creating the very thing most leaders don’t want.  

Wise leaders will double-down on the health of their organization.  They will lean into cascading communication within the organization and champion trust, healthy conflict, commitment, accountability and collective results.  As a leader does this, it automatically relieves the pressure, but the opposite is not true. In fact, the more focus that is put on the tangibles, the more pressure is built up.

Smart AND Healthy organizations focus on health.  The rest just follows.  Pressure is decreased, belonging increases within the staff, productivity increases and silos begin to crumble.

What does pressure look like for you?