Indeed, stress is a tough task-master and it can adversely impact our ability to “bounce back” and continue energetically pursue our leadership responsibilities, also known as our resiliency. By way of a general overview, I have pointed out that there are two very broad categories of stress: Incidental stress and cumulative stress.
While, incidental stress can be easier to spot, cumulative stress, can be a bit harder to detect because over time it can sneak up on us and bites us when we least suspect it.
What I have not previously mentioned is that these stress factors can combine and in so doing take a toll on our resilience. Particularly noteworthy is that when we already are carrying a level of cumulative stress, a more substantial incidental stress event can push us past the point of our remaining resiliency reserves. And that can be dangerous to our emotional, physical, and/or moral well-being.
As I have sought to emphasize, my goal is to sound the alert. Leadership takes courage – and it is stressful. If we can be mindful of the potential – and very real – impact of stress on our internal resilience, we are less likely to be caught off guard. This is especially true when both cumulative and incidental stress throws “combos” at us during our leadership roles.
Next week I will begin exploring several ways to deal with and hopefully lessen the impact of stress; the objective for us in leadership is to maintain enough resilience in our reserve tank to sustain us when the stressful times, events, and accumulation of pressures strikes – which it will - if we have the courage to lead.
Photo Credit: Ksenia Makagonova