In my role at SGR, I conduct a lot of reference checks. A question that I often ask is how a reference deals with pressure and stress. Answers vary from remaining calm to breaking down larger projects into smaller tasks to creating an enjoyable and fun atmosphere that alleviates stress and pressure.
When asking this question to others this week, I wondered what people would say about me if they were asked this question. Walks around looking like she is going to explode? Furiously creating task list after task list? Eyebrows constantly furrowed?
A city manager recently told me that in their review, they were told “spend time taking care of yourself.” In a way, a personal statement like that seems odd to include in a professional review. However, it is extremely important for an organization for their leader to be able to handle pressure and stress.
When you are relaxed, you are comfortable in your role and can focus on the tasks at hand and the strategy of the overall organization. When stress invades, it is hard to see the next task, much less the strategy behind each decision.
When I am stressed, I am always running behind. When I am stressed, I wake up in the middle of the night to add something to my task list. When I am stressed, I am checking my phone constantly and thinking about what I need to be doing instead of talking to my toddlers.
When I am at my best, I find that I am usually eating clean, exercising regularly, organized at work, and spending quality time with my family.
You may have different things that you do to stay at your best and to relieve stress, but, generally, these things seem so simple. Why is it that we only do these things when we have free time? Why do we dedicate so little time to them each day?
I know a number of very successful city managers that schedule a run each work day. It is scheduled as a meeting on their calendars and everyone knows that is sacred time.
I challenge you to spend a few moments reflecting on what gets you to your best. Then, find the time each day on your calendar to ensure that happens.
Take care of yourself – your organization will be better because of it.
Executive Search Manager