I often comment on the multi-faceted, never-ending stream of opportunities and problems that leaders face. One of the best ways to handle the stress of this constant challenge is to set clear, high standards for yourself. It’s a bit of a paradox. However, it’s my observation that when our standards are high and clear, stress is reduced. I think it may be because setting high standards for our own performance requires clarity, a conscious choice of values and priorities, and a commitment to excellence, which is unambiguous. Internal value conflicts and ambivalence are far greater stressors than external circumstances.
Food for Thought ~
An important point of distinction, however, must be made ~ the distinction between excellence and perfectionism. A misguided dedication to perfection will certainly increase stress. In contrast, excellence is the more thoughtful, reality-based guidance system, the gold standard for leaders.
Question of the day ~
Do you set your expectations high for your own personal performance? Are you pursuing perfection or excellence?