15 Sources of stress for leaders:
- Incompetence. You’re flaying in water that’s too deep for your current abilities.
- Procrastination. Lack of preparation makes your heart race.
- Lack of control. A forced retirement is stressful, for example.
- Delay. Waiting for team members to do their jobs makes you pace.
- Disappointment. People who don’t complete commitments are like empty glasses to the thirsty.
- Lack of skill at delegating. Every time you delegate to the wrong person, stress increases. (One way to spot great team members is stress goes down when you delegate to them.)
- Exhaustion. Everything that’s bad is made worse by fatigue, including stress.
- Customer dissatisfaction.
- Office politics and backstabbing colleagues. The need to constantly protect yourself is pouring effort into buckets with holes.
- Unrealistic expectations. Some bosses believe the way to get the most out of people is to give them more to do than they can complete.
- Sickness and death.
- Tragedy or trauma.
- Feeling judged. Fearing the opinions of people with positions of power is stressful.
- New experiences.
- Lack of support. Rowing a big boat alone multiplies stress.
The worst pains are self-inflicted.
The stress I feel is intensified by rowing alone. Instead of inviting people in, I’m inclined to close them out.
Ego-driven stress is self-inflicted. You might disguise it as generosity. You don’t want to bother others. But rowing the boat alone is your problem. Humility lowers stress.
Self-imposed stress is unnecessary. When you’re stressed about a decision, invite stakeholders for input. Don’t surrender responsibility; explore options with others.
You row the boat alone because you choose to be alone.
Make stress an invitation to include others. The question is, “Who to invite into your boat?”
Stress won’t kill you. Rowing alone will.