Is Grey the New Black?

Posted March 5, 2009 in Latest News & Insights

Todays Globe and Mail featured a story about the increased amount of grey hair on Barack Obama’s head. 44 days into the job, and apparently the pressure is starting to show. According to the article, US President’s age 2 years for every one in office. Such is the downside of high pressure leadership posts.

Now, most of us aren’t dealing with challenges on the scale of a massive credit crisis, two wars or what to do about Guantanamo Bay, but with the current economic meltdown, many of us are dealing with our own form of pressure cooker.

Some stress and pressure is good. But excessive stress and pressure can put you into the danger zone of burnout.

The funny thing about pressure is that, when you really look closely at it, much of it is self inflicted. We pressure ourselves to live up to other people’s standards, other people’s definitions of success, or our own views of what we believe to be important.

I often hear leaders talk about what they “should” be doing and what they “have” to do and, when we explore it more closely, we find that the “shoulds” and the “have to’s” are mostly self-inflicted beliefs.

Leadership is difficult at the best of times. During times like this, it can easily become unbearable. Don’t make your job harder than it needs to be. Look closely at where you’re feeling pressured and ask yourself how real the pressure is. Maybe the world isn’t going to end afterall. what do you do to keep pressure in check? Share your tips.

Happy leading!


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