You might already be familiar with the term Span of Control in the corporate world, where it’s used to designate the number of direct reports you can effectively manage at one time. Over the years, I’ve expanded that term to include everything you can, and should, control at any given time.
Maybe you’ve familiarized yourself with the science, probably you’ve had an experience that it neatly sums up, and likely you’ve heard the saying: Under pressure, you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.
You’re used to thriving in a high-pressure, high-performing business environment, but what happens when there’s even less time, even more stress, a workplace that has grown more chaotic, and goals that seem more complicated and difficult to achieve? If you’ve felt the extra pressure of rapidly changing circumstances, economic upheaval, and increased limitations on your day-to-day activity, you’re not alone.
Part of being a woman in business is dealing with the constant pressure to be perfect, especially for those who dare to dream big and fulfill leadership potential. With the right mindset, the pursuit of perfection can spur us on to excellence — however, more often than not, it can stop our momentum in its tracks.
With the year wrapping up and the New Year on the horizon, this time of the year can be jam packed with to-dos, obligations and worries, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and seriously burned out. (Not to mention the added fun of navigating the holidays with family during a pandemic!) Luckily, there’s a simple strategy that will help you combat stress and take back your focus in 2021.
Who else has learned a thing or two this year about adversity and resilience? Some of us haven’t seen friends or loved ones in months. Maybe your travel plans have been torpedoed for the foreseeable future. Perhaps your “office” is now a tiny, cramped corner of your bedroom, while your kids learn remotely at the dining table. Maybe you’ve even lost your job thanks to the pandemic or the downturn in the economy. And, if you’re like me, the presidential election probably had you gnashing your teeth for months…
As a society, we are spread too thin and stressed out. There are too many emails. Too many Zoom meetings. Too many tasks and demands on what is seemingly a never-ending to-do list that is running your productivity. When we try to do everything, and be everything to everyone at once, we can’t really focus on anything. We kill our own productivity, we experience burnout, and worst of all, we miss out on life’s enjoyable moments.
Building a positive mindset in times of uncertainty and chaos, is critical to your ability to not only survive, but thrive. Ever have one of those days when everything was going well, and then one negative moment sends you spiraling? Have you laid awake at night dwelling on all the criticisms you received instead of the compliments? Heck, even turn on the news, and all the bad stuff makes headlines while good news is practically just a footnote.
How do you lead when you don’t have a title? You don’t have to be a C-suite executive or top brass to be a great leader. Leadership begins when you believe you can make a difference, you gather the courage to step up, and then take action. Unfortunately, I’ve seen over and over again how effective leadership skills can become stunted by our fears and perceived limitations about ourselves.
Experiencing fear and uncertainty is unavoidable in life — but, boy, has 2020 really taken it up a notch. The challenging events of the past six months have tested our collective mettle like never before, leaving many people highly stressed and off their game professionally.