How to manage stress

Some Monday’s I wake-up and have this deep sense of stress. So many “needs” that have to get done. I think the way you manage stress determines how effective you will be as a leader. Here are some thoughts: 

1. Gotta love what you do. Of course I feel a calling to launch a non-profit that  fights global poverty. So this is easy for me. But I don’t always love the “inner-workings” of a non-profit. So I focus on the big picture. 

2. Remember you work “unto to the Lord.” I choose if I want to honor God with my work. My prayer is to focus and work hard, so each day can honor God. 

3. Accountability: I need to be held accountable, and as the leader for H.E.L.P. I have to hold others accountable. Scotty, Jeff and John G all volunteer for H.E.L.P.  and work other gigs. But they all love what we do, and we all want to do it well. (hence, the first two items on the list) So we all have to be  held accountable. In order for the organization to move forward, we all have to be clicking.

4. Grace: Fact-of-the-matter, when we drop the ball we have to walk in grace. We’re in this for the long-haul, so we have to find a delicate balance in managing expectations and understanding realties. 

5. Think Small: For me this is almost impossible. For instance, if you’re a church planter, don’t focus so much on how to get your church to a certain “number.” Instead focus on how to build the next-step. If you don’t have a core team, stop putting energy into trying to gather a crowd, pray and work diligently for the core team. Sometimes our personal ambitions get-in-the-way of Spirit-led leadership! Don’t worry about step seven when you’re on step two.

6. Follow-through: This is essential to working together on a team. I need to do better myself. But, if we’re going to be leaders with character, we MUST do what we say we’re going to do. The only way we can build trust as a team, is if we actually do the things we say we are going to do, in the time-frame we commit to doing them. I need to step-up and do a better job here. 

7. Don’t sacrifice your personal time with God. Its easy to feel so overwhelmed that we work hard, but pray little. Makes no sense if you really believe that God gives you the energy and grace you need to be effective. Yet, it’s so easy to just forget God and run-wild. 

8. Rest: Sometimes you gotta just stop, rest and relax. If God rested on the 7th day, I think maybe he was trying to communicate something to humanity. The more you rest the more work you’ll get done.

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About The Author

I’m the Founder/CEO of Help One Now. I live in downtown Raleigh with my family. I’m a justice advocate, who loves empowering leaders (and tribes) to launch movements for doing good.

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