If you’re like most people, you probably think that stress is an inevitable part of life. The truth is it’s not. In a groundbreaking 30-year study, Dr. Derek Roger has discovered that everything we think we know about stress and how we should “manage” it is just plain wrong. Stress is not a natural response to the pressures of work. It’s a choice that you make, consciously or not, to worry and fret and agonize over the work you need to do instead of just doing it. Why do some people get stressed while others stay calm, cool and collected under pressure? The answer lies in resilience –– your ability to cope with challenges and thrive under adversity –– rather than ruminating and obsessing over them. The key to “managing” stress is to stop it before it starts.
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To be resilient, flexible and ready for anything. Work Without Stress offers a radically different approach to stress. It’s about being resilient. Flexible. Mentally awake and in the moment. It’s about changing your mindset to keep things in perspective instead of adding fuel to the fire with negative thoughts. The techniques you’ll find in this book are powerful, practical and proven to work –– without stress.
IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• Why stress is not an inevitable part of life.
• The difference between pressure and stress.
• To control your attention and become more resilient.
• To practice resilient communication and lead organizational change without stress.
At Soundview Executive Book Summaries, we spend a healthy portion of our time reading and writing about leadership books. I came across a great article from the Financial Post about the need for mindful leaders in the workplace. Ray Williams, author of the Financial Post piece, cites clinician Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness. He describes it as, “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally.” Kabat-Zinn argues that the modern workplace screams along at such an incredible pace that leaders are often mentally and physically overtaxed. This impacts the executive’s decision-making abilities and reduces his or her effectiveness in the long-term.
What is of interest to Soundview is that Kabat-Zinn cites two books which we’ve previously recommended to leaders. The first of these books is Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman. In this book, Goleman and his co-authors describe the competencies of Emotional Intelligence that can help leaders create a more unified, productive work force. This book is a great read because it combines great advice to help a leader improve him- or herself while also giving tips to strengthen the organization as a whole.
The other book Kabat-Zinn references is Resonant Leadership. This title is written by Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, Goleman’s co-authors on Primal Leadership. As the subtitle indicates, the book helps executives renew themselves and connect with others through mindfulness, hope and compassion. While there are certainly traditional leaders who may view the subject matter as an unnecessary lesson in “soft skills,” more and more books are being written about the importance of a leader’s ability to connect and inspire his or her employees.
Did anyone else happen to see this story from Bloomberg/BusinessWeek? It deals with the theory that even mild stress can cause long-term disability. It’s an interesting idea but one whose research I’m certain many executives like to review. Of course, the best path to reducing on-the-job stress is to have a job that one genuinely enjoys.
If you’ve never read it, Soundview has a great book summary that may help you in your efforts to find a more fulfilling career. Do you have a good career, a mediocre career, or a great career? How do you know? And how do your create a great career? The most respected business thinker of our time, Dr. Stephen R. Covey, and change consultant Jennifer Colosimo offer a complete handbook for anyone seeking answers.