Chapter 11Lead by Thriving on Stress

Learn how to thrive on stress. Stress provides a tremendous incentive to perform well. Leaders should spend less time reading about it and going to stress-management seminars, which bombard you with information about stress's harmful effects, and more time making it an asset.

Stress is unquestionably a determining factor in success versus survival. It comes into play in everything you do every day, both professionally and personally.

On the one hand, leaders thrive on stress. I've never met a good leader who was not a stress seeker. Survivors, on the other hand expend enormous amounts of energy avoiding stressors. Consequently, they only survive at best.

Whether they're working in a sport or corporate environment or working through a chronic illness, the people I have worked with over the past 45 years realize that stress is always there. Initially, it is perceived as a negative by almost everyone. But we need to understand that stress levels do not make us sick or cause other negative things in our lives. Rather, it is how we perceive and react to stress that can have an unhealthy effect. This will be surprising to you if you've always been told that stress is a negative, even overwhelming influence in your life.

How much time do you spend every day trying to rid your life of stress? How much does stress cost industry every year? Billions of dollars are spent by corporations to deal with stress. Much of that cost takes the form of disability ...

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