Stress, in addition to being itself and the result of itself, is also the cause of itself.
—Hans Selye, psychologist
Most managers try double negatives as a way to motivate others. First they intentionally upset themselves over the prospect of not reaching their goals, and then they use the upset as negative energy to fire up the team.
It doesn’t work.
Stressing out over our team’s goals is not the same as caring about them. Stressing out is not a useful form of motivation. No performer, when tense or stressed, performs well. No leader does. No salesperson. No athlete. No fund-raiser. No field-goal kicker. No free-throw shooter. No parent.
A stressed-out, tense performer only has access to a small percent ...