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How to Cultivate Resilience and Manage Stress as a Leader

Stressed leader

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines stress as a state of worry or mental tension caused by a difficult situation.  

Moving into a business setting, individuals in leadership positions face an elevated risk of stress. This is due to the responsibilities they shoulder including decision-making, conflict resolution and supervision.

Also, a concerning 69% of executives are contemplating quitting due to concerns about their overall well-being.

Left unaddressed, stress can contribute to more complicated health issues like depression, heart disease, insomnia, and digestive issues. 

Furthermore, the impact on productivity is notable, with high stress levels correlating with a 12% reduction in overall work efficiency.

Thankfully, it's time for executives to boost resilience as we are about to expose the four best ways to manage stress as a leader.

4 fool-proof ways to manage stress as a leader

The key to managing stress as a leader and boosting resilience is to first recognize that there is a problem. 

Common signs of stress include anxiety, chest pain, irritability, difficulty sleeping, loss of focus, short temper, and poor bowel movement. 

To put yourself back on track, it's best to do the following:

1. Prioritize and Delegate

Delegate Tasks

In a demanding business environment, you may be tempted to juggle numerous responsibilities but that is often a recipe for disaster. 

To begin, it's crucial for you to distinguish between urgent and important tasks. Once priorities are established the next step is delegation. 

Effective delegation involves entrusting tasks to team members based on their skills, expertise, and capacity. 

A leader should have a clear understanding of each team member's strengths and weaknesses to ensure tasks are assigned appropriately. 

2. Practice mindfulness and recreational activities


Incorporating mindfulness and relaxation techniques into your daily routine can significantly reduce stress. 

Engage in activities like meditation, deep breathing exercises, spa, massage, journaling, drawing, going to the beach, or fun activities with friends or families.  

These practices help quiet the mind, improve focus, and enhance emotional resilience. Not only that, they release good-feel hormones like dopamine that help suppress stress. 

If you try all these and nothing works, feel free to take a few days off from work and reach out to a therapist. Remember, health is wealth. Prioritize your well-being.

3. Establish clear communication 

Team Communication

Statistics show that managers who don't communicate well have teams where 62% of members want to quit. 

It's essential to discuss expectations and goals clearly. Ambiguity in instructions can lead to confusion and stress among team members. 

By providing details and setting clear expectations, you empower your team to work more efficiently, ultimately reducing stress for both you and the team. 

Proactive communication also enables you to identify potential issues early on, allowing for timely resolution. 

4. Maintain work-life balance 

Business man traveling

Leading a team, especially when some of its members are difficult to work with, is demanding and can lead to an increase in leadership stress.

Regardless, it's important to set clear work hours and resist the urge to constantly check emails or handle work matters during personal time. 

Taking short breaks or vacations can offer a chance to rest and recharge mentally. Besides breaks, having hobbies outside of work is crucial for a well-rounded life.

While on vacation, you can delegate personal administrative tasks like email management, and social media management to a virtual assistant.

A leader's commitment to a healthy work-life balance not only enhances their well-being but also positively shapes the organizational culture. This fosters better decision-making and team inspiration.


Once you can effectively manage stress as a leader, it'll boost your resilience and also enhance the productivity of your team members.

In addition to that, maintaining a work-life balance, clear communication with team members, practicing mindfulness, and delegating tasks can help you tackle stress effectively. 


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