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Maximising performance or just creating stress?

John Kirby Head

A leader should be skilled at getting the best out of coworkers. But all too often his or her leadership style can have the opposite effect. Karen Firestone, writing for Harvard Business Review, has some advice on how to avoid leader-induced stress.

There is extensive evidence that leaders tend to feel less stressed than the colleagues they lead. Firestone wonders, half in jest, whether some leaders have a special skill for offloading their stress onto others.

Leaders do, of course, find themselves under intense pressure at times, but stress is relative. With the advantage of offsetting factors like greater status, autonomy and job security – not to mention income – it is perhaps unsurprising that stress seems less of a problem for leaders.

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