CHAPTER 22

How to Apply the Right Amount of Pressure

By Liane Davey

While the popular press talks of stress as a negative to be avoided, seasoned managers know better. If you’re trying to drum up new business, get a customer’s order out on time, or hit your numbers for the quarter, a little stress goes a long way. It’s even more important when you’re trying to transform your business or revitalize a sagging culture. That’s when you need enough stress to motivate action.

In its most positive form, stress results when an employee tries to do the same old things in a new environment. Those out-of-date behaviors produce subpar results and the growing gap in performance creates tension. It’s exactly the kind of stress you want, because it counteracts ...

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