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Like most of the world, I’ve had my eye on the Olympics in the year 2016., especially basketball and judo, I can’t help thinking of one question:


How do these athletes and other super successful people handle the pressure?

Now, I’m no stranger to pressure. I live with it every day as a leader. I’m sure you do, too. What I’ve personally learned from this athlete client of mine is that success is all about the pressure- the right amount of pressure.

Business today is all about change. Volatile global markets, declining consumer loyalty, and increasing competition are putting pressure on leaders across industries and sectors to reinvent their companies continually. And to be able to convert pressure to production and perform at your best, you've got to have the ability to harness work-related pressure. It's the most critical leadership quality.

Here's something essential for you if you want to be a "real leader" and perform under pressure. It’s a practice in which most of my high-end clients who work with extremely tight schedules have applied to their lives. It’s this-


CREATE JUST THE RIGHT PRESSURE.


While coaching some of the most elite leaders, athletes, and entrepreneurs in the world, I've learned that the leaders who rise to the top can create just the right level of stress to maximize and mobilize their energy, performance, and to get the most creative ideas. Too much pressure is tied to negative thinking, slowing down, and anxiety. When we feel too much pressure, we resist change. We become unproductive, we procrastinate and aren't in the proper frame of mind to make the best decisions. All of this creates confusion, making organizational change difficult, or even impossible. At the other end of the continuum, too little pressure is grounded in contentment. When we feel too little pressure, we believe everything will continue to be O.K and we fail to use our full potential.


Successful leaders work in the space between too little and too much pressure- one that creates positive pressure in the direction of change without causing debilitating worry. They continually adjust their level of stress as circumstances change. One leader's "just enough" maybe "too much" or "too little" anxiety for someone else. There is no one-size-fits-all level. Once you understand what makes you anxious, you are better able to increase or decrease your anxiety, as needed, to create just enough.


Once you have a sense of your pressure amount, you will be able to guide your people. You’ll know whether you need to dial the heat up, or bring it back down from a boil to a simmer.


I want to encourage you, my friend, to not shy away from the high-pressure moments in your work life. Instead, use the pressure to help you produce. Pressure is a sign that what you’re doing counts. It means that your leadership or your work is meaningful. It means you can make a difference.


And remember, Champions are made not by how they start but by how they show up and finish under pressure.


Your Friends + Mentor


Payal Nanjiani




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