Monday, April 27th, 2015
SWIMMING IN ANXIETY
I have to admit that writing about anxiety make me a little anxious–in a good way. If I were anxious in a bad way, I wouldn’t be able to write at all. If I had no anxiety, I’d just keep reading the Sunday paper.
You, as a top level leader swim in anxiety everyday. It’s a given. And so managing your anxiety and that of your company is a skill you have to have.
Sorry it is so. I wish it were all about only urgency and creative tension but your company exists on an accelerated change trajectory that changes direction without warning! That is an automatic anxiety creating machine.
The first thing you can do, is know it. Accept it.
Anxiety is you. Gulp. And it is not all bad.
The second thing you can do is know when you are crazy anxious, good anxious or in wonderful blind denial. Crazy anxious makes you volatile, unable to concentrate, fearful about real connection with people, and having to gear up in an exaggerated way for the day. Not anxious enough usually shows up in tuning out, minimizing any bad news that comes your way and low energy for action.
Good anxiety gives you just enough edge to want to get things done, create needed change, and a sense of excitement and emotional energy.
This is another of the modern leadership factors that exists on a continuum that you have to manage. It is a sliding scale that you need to master. You own the anxiety level of your organization. Now what?
Is your company asleep? Do you need to up the anxiety or discomfort level? Or is your company a jangle of nerves and uncertainty with people focused on their own survival and not on your customers? Do you need to slide toward the low anxiety level with perhaps slowing down change or providing more grounding and assurance. And what can you do to position yourself and your company in the sweet spot of discomfort/anxiety so that there is optimism and “can do” energy?
I have raised more questions than I have answered. Good anxiety or bad?
Living with unanswered questions and not being “stuck” is another of the
modern leadership factors! I may have struck a theme. Good Monday!!