If you are a CEO you are no stranger to stress. It goes right along with the territory of leading an organization.
But we all know what too much stress can do -- It can strain your relationships, impact your decision-making, or contribute to more serious health conditions like heart disease or depression. CEOs are not immune, no matter how well their companies are performing.
Successful company leaders acknowledge that ever-present stress in their lives -- they do not ignore it -- and they work to manage it.
I stay on an even keel most of the time, but like everyone else, I have good days but also ones that challenge me. Here are seven ways that I keep the stress monster from rearing its ugly head. They work for me and they may help you as well -- because in today's dynamic world, stress is not a stranger to anyone who works with purpose.
Find great people
You may have the vision for your company, but you cannot do it all on your own. You need to surround yourself with great people who share your core values and will help you realize that vision. Having others alongside you for the ride also makes the work more rewarding and enjoyable.
I am always learning something new, and I encourage everyone on our team to continue growing as well. A more mature organization can be more responsive to situations as they come up. And the more well-rounded you are, the more tools you will have to draw upon in times of stress.
Get some exercise
Regular exercise will not only make you stronger and healthier, but it also gives you a great boost when your energy starts to flag. Studies show that it also helps ward off anxiety and depression. Exercise is all-around good for you, so lace up your sneakers (or bike in my case) and go get busy.
Do you ever get so caught up in your work that you forget to take a break? There is a whole world out there waiting for you to enjoy, and a little fresh air will do wonders for your stress level and outlook. Put your work aside and take a quick stroll, or just sit outside and be thankful for what you do.
You may feel as if you have to put up a strong front at all times -- after all, many people are depending on you to be at your best. But everyone needs someone to confide in when they cannot see their way through a tough problem. It is important to know who to ask for advice and the right questions to ask.
While you can prepare for many things, remind yourself that you cannot control every possible situation that comes up (nor would you want to -- that would be exhausting.) Life will throw you curveballs that you do not expect, but you will deal with those when the time comes.
I am grateful because I feel like I have the greatest job in the world -- I founded and now help lead a rapidly growing software company that serves over 50,000 customers. So, what do you have to be thankful for? Ask yourself that question at least once a day, and then answer it. This simple practice will keep you humble.
You cannot avoid stress altogether; instead, I encourage you to adopt these simple practices as a way to manage it. Do not allow the stress of the job wreck everything you are working toward -- because in the end, your relationships, health, and happiness will define your real accomplishments.