How the most effective leaders keep calm

How leaders keep calm

Keeping calm under pressure is a skill you can learn.

One of the questions that recently came up in my Facebook group, High Impact Executives, is about leaders and CEO’s who are able to remain calm under pressure. I wrote about the superpower of equanimity here related to my experience as a news anchor – especially during crazy breaking news when we literally threw out the scripts for the newscast and flew by the seat of our pants (talk about adrenaline rush)! At the same time, as an anchor, you needed to remain calm and manage the torrent of information coming at you so you could relay it to viewers in an orderly fashion that makes sense.

Luckily, there are ways to develop this ‘calm’ or equanimity no matter where you are in hierarchy of corporate America – CEO, manager or new employee. This article explains the neuroscience of remaining calm. The best news is anyone can develop this skill or habit with a little practice!

The first step is to understand what’s happening inside you physically when pressure (or panic) hits. The second is to identify your emotions. Then.. slow down your breathing! And finally, re-label your emotions. Here’s the full article!

I know the most effective leaders (news directors, anchors and producers) I’ve worked with have, or have developed the ability to remain calm under intense pressure. In fact, one of my vices is sports talk radio. I heard a conversation asking which quarterback would you want in the huddle when the game is on the line – Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, Andrew Luck or Mark Sanchez? The expert picked Russell Wilson. His reason? He’s proven he is calm under pressure where the game slows down, and he inspires confidence in the people around him. I suspect one of Wilson’s superpowers (in addition to his scrambling ability) is equanimity.

How do you keep calm? As always, I welcome your thoughts.


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