Chicago’s daily commute can drive employees mad, just ask a psychiatrist who battles the urban jungle and comments “It takes anywhere from 30 minutes to several centuries–at least subjectively.” Forbes magazine unveiled their annual list of America’s 40 Most Stressful Cities and you guessed it, Chicago ranked number one for the second straight year followed by Los Angeles, New York, my hometown of Cleveland and Providence.
If you are a leader of a business or organization in these metro areas, your staff feels the effects of sinking property values, high unemployment and prices along with poor social and ecological environments. These conditions breed fear which multiplies employee stress.
Many managers cite the overall stress levels as a major cause of absenteeism as well. Dr. Kenneth Greenspan, director of the Centre of Stress Related Disorders at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, claims that if the body faces constant stress and does not have opportunity to rest and renew itself, the resulting effects can be dramatic. He maintains that stress contributes to 90% of all diseases; over half of all visits to doctors are stress-related.
What’s a leader to do? How can a leader reverse the effects of this stress-filled environment to lead their organization in achieving their mission and vision?
It’s certainly valuable for a leader to surround themselves with courageous, godly counselors to help them discern wise choices.
One of those wise counselors for many leaders is noted author Max Lucado. In his latest book “Fearless,” Max provides a refreshing perspective about our emotional choices in the midst of stress and fear:
“Fear may fill our world, but it doesn’t have to fill our hearts. It will always knock on the door. Just don’t invite it in for dinner, and for heaven’s sake don’t offer it a bed for the night.”
As Christians seeking leadership effectiveness, Max offers a biblical approach for us to model leadership courage:
- Pray first
- Easy Now, Slow down
- Act on the stress producing/fearful issue quickly
- Compile a “Worry List” and Evaluate Your Worry Categories
- Focus on How God Meets Your Need Today
- Unleash a “Worry Army” to Battle with You
- Let God Be Enough in all Your Life
A timely read. You may want to use “Fearless” or another resource as a staff building, burnout prevention tool this summer as the long summer events months draw near.
What tools do you use to help your staff overcome stress and fear in the workplace and daily life?