5 Ways a Mature Leader Responds When the Team is Stressed

Every organization and team has times where everyone is stretched, stress abounds, and even times where it seems things are going backwards for a while. It could be in a time of crisis for the organization or during an exceptionally busy season. It could that be internal or external issues  are causing the stress. In these seasons, good leadership is more critical than ever.

Mature leaders have learned (often the hard way) that the way they respond in stress will directly impact the organization and everyone attempting to follow them. Ultimately the care for the organization greatly depends on the leader’s response during the stressful seasons.

Here are 5 mature ways for a leader to respond in stressful times:

A sense of calm

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 okay.

This does not mean that the leader should give a false hope. People should understand reality, but it does mean helping people find a sense of balance and hope in the midst of what may seem hopeless in their minds.

Steadfastness

There will always be temptations to give up under stress – for the team and the leader. A leader must walk by faith and keep the team moving forward. Through good times and the bad times the leader must stand firm.

You can read the hard lesson I learned about this issue in my post of advice to the leader when things are going wrong.

Integrity

Character is most 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 in these seasons will be taken even more seriously (and subject to people’s own interpretations), so the leader must strive to be above reproach.

Strategic-thinking

Decisions are harder to make but more important during stressful times. The leader must think strategically for the organization – helping to steer towards clarity and progress.

(Read a post about thinking strategically in the moment HERE)

Personal well-being

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 personal 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?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 25 Comments

  • Job Lnw says:

    Vision is vital. The ability to keep perspective and understand how the current trials fit into your overall life and business. When a front-runner is able to effectively manage stress, he does treat himself well. When a leader reaches the c-suite, the stress seems to be a part of everyday job description. A leader needs to step away on the odd occasion to jump in effectively. Stress management is important to boost the productivity of a team. To build a better relationship with the team, the leader has to learn how to manage stress effectively.

  • When a front-runner is able to effectively manage stress, he does treat himself well. When a leader reaches the c-suite, the stress seems to be a part of everyday job description. A leader needs to step away on the odd occasion to jump in effectively. Stress management is important to boost the productivity of a team. To build a better relationship with the team, the leader has to learn how to manage stress effectively. How a leader deals with the stress impacts his team’s performance. so, incompetency of a pacemaker to handle stress can be problematic in the time to come.

  • […] 5 Ways a Mature Leader Responds When the Team is Stressed by Ron Edmondson. Your team will inevitably hit times of stress. So how does a mature leader respond? Here, Ron Edmondson shows the impact of a leader’s response to stress on an organization. It’s worth reading. […]

  • […] 5 Mature Ways for a Leader to Respond Under Stress – Ron Edmondson […]

  • Bill DiGennaro says:

    I'm coming to the conclusion that stress is often a product of not understanding the situation well enough. Or trying to do some task that someone else is better suited to do. Either way, *Listening to your team* might be the solution – or at least lead to solutions, which is even better.

  • Ron, you put forth an excellent list. I would add two:

    — Stay positive. Phil.4:8 reminds us to dwell on what's good, not on what's bad or not working. Personally, when I am under stress, I can become very negative about things if I don't seek to counteract the negativity and woe-is-me thinking.

    — Be courageous. Stress and fatigue can make cowards of us all. It is easier to succumb to fear or play it safe so we must intentionally face our stressful situation with courage.

  • jay says:

    Kindness. I do not mean be a wimp. I once had a boss who was excellent at this. I walked into her office with an issue to talk about. I was at odds with a decision she made that I thought was wrong. I walked out of her office a winner even though I lost the argument.

  • @dsiegfried says:

    Vision is vital. The ability to keep perspective and understand how the current trials fit into your overall life and business. Ask

  • […] often ask how I handle stress. I’ve written before 5 Ways Leaders Respond Under Stress, but honestly, that post, though I still support it, can add more stress to a stressed-out […]

  • […] 5 Ways a Leader Responds Under Stress […]

  • Rudy Rackley says:

    One of the hardest times of leading is during my sickest moments. I battle a chronic disease and without sustaining grace some days wouldn’t be possible. It’s through these weakest moments that I have learned to rely on God the most. Once we understand God’s sovereign provedence leading becomes easy when we simply persevere.

  • Ron! My add ons:

    Objectivity

    Cool Headedness

    Mental Grit

  • creatov says:

    Great summary and straight forward. Thanks!

  • Joseph says:

    Just remember you still have a team. Don't always feel like you have to be Superman in the middle of a stressful situation. Trust your team. Work with them to get through tough times.

  • alszambrano says:

    I was a leader on a project a few years ago that had to be shut down. I suppose the one lesson I learned from that is, no matter the outcome of the project or stressful situation, relationships are always valuable enough to be preserved. Striving to put people before any agenda or task list made the ending of that project less painful.

  • Randy Willis says:

    Stated simply and well. Thanks, Ron!

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