How to Handle the Stress of a Leadership Position?

Leadership Position Stress

Landing your dream management job might seem easier than keeping it at first. Your boss believes in you, or you wouldn’t have this job, but prepare yourself for managing stress based on your leadership style.

What is Leadership Pressure (Leadership Stress)?

If your team stays on task and performs as expected, that makes you “look good” as a manager. If they don’t put much effort into the roles you assign them, you wind up with “sloppy” results that don’t reflect well on you at all.

That’s a lot of pressure, and it can sometimes result in you feeling like you have to work more hours than necessary to make sure a job is done right. Sometimes this does happen as a leader, but it doesn’t always have to be the workplace status quo. Otherwise, why hire employees to help you in the first place if you’re going to end up doing the bulk of the work as a manager anyway?

Knowing how to handle leadership stress first comes with understanding problems you may encounter amongst your team. Then, you can address those issues, set boundaries, and make more time for you for your own sanity.

Pressure Based on Leadership Styles

The best way to handle workplace pressure is to stay true to your preferred leadership style. Still, you will have issues to resolve based on your personal management strengths.

Authoritative

If you prefer to remain the primary authority in project completion, you will delegate tasks and wait for employees to finish them. This leadership style works best if you have several new workers who need training fast. In this case, they probably need your direction and extra supervision at least until they gain enough experience to work independently of you.

You can shape the way your teams complete their projects when taking an authoritative stand. It also reduces your workload when you’re not afraid to delegate, which also lowers your stress levels. However, you might deal with some workers not completing their portion of projects as fast as others because they haven’t had enough practice yet.

Others might just “rebel” against you because they resent you for not allowing them to decide for themselves how to complete assigned work. No matter what the reason for your management stress, remember to take care of you first no matter what. It does, however, help to have employees willing to take direction if you have an authoritative leadership style.

Collaborative (Democratic)

If you’re the kind of manager who prefers input from everyone on your team before you start a project, it will boost team morale. In turn, your employees will feel as if they matter, which improves department productivity and reduces your workload. Having less work for you to do may give you more free time to relax like you want to, which takes the pressure off of you. 

Taking the collaborative management approach doesn’t mean you’ll never have issues, however. This democratic, form of leadership only works if you have enough diversity of skills among your team members. They also must have enough experience and assertiveness to speak their mind throughout all phases of a project.

If they don’t, it can increase your personal workload, not reduce it. Either way, try not to worry too much about work on what is supposed to be your free time.

Relaxed (Laissez-Fair)

A relaxed leadership style can make or break your stress threshold when operating as a manager. Either your employees will rise to the occasion and have the opportunity to shine in ways they never have before, or they will crash and burn.

Your workers need to have their own self-motivation, discipline and drive for you to allow them to take over projects without much interference from you. If you do trust your employees, however, it can reduce your stress.

Take Care Of You First

To handle leadership pressure, you must manage yourself and take care of you first. When you do, you maintain a positive vibration that spreads throughout everyone on your team. Make sure you take time away from work for your family and hobbies, for instance, and never try to go too many nights without sleep.

If necessary, also find someone to talk to if you feel like you’ve taken on more than you can handle.