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Leadership in Action: In Focus—Managing Stress—Surviving the Pressure Cooker by Sharon McDowell-Larsen, Michael Campbell, Vidula Bal

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STRESS FACTORS

A number of factors inherent to leadership roles in general contribute to leadership stress.

Ambiguity. By definition, leadership requires you to be out in front (of people, trends, crises, change, and other events). Rarely is there a predefined path that you can follow. There may not be readily available answers to acute problems. Leaders often must make critical decisions based on limited information, and just as often, customers, clients, the public, shareholders, and other stakeholders hold leaders accountable for those decisions. Leaders live in the land of ambiguity— facing the unknown, hoping for the best, and planning for the worst.

Lack of control. Given the trend toward flatter organizations, the rise of geographically ...

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