Stress is Optional: Lead as You Would Like to Follow

This is the second in a four part series, which began here.

Lead as you would like to follow. I came up with this phrase years ago and offer it to my clients to help them fast-track by emulating a leader who they admire.

Think about it. If you want to influence another to engage or help you with your goals, doesn’t it make sense to treat them as you would like to be treated? I refer to this as leadership influence. So, what does this have to do with our “Stress is Optional” series?

Simple. Much of our distress involves situations of conflict (internal and external). If each of us just makes the commitment to focus our energies on what we want with the highest good of all involved in mind, then good things will manifest. Be the leader who influences others forward. In other words, be the leader you’d like to follow.

When you lead your people from this place of functioning from a state of well-being through a solutions-based leadership approach, everyone wins. Productivity, engagement, wins and profit soar for all—optimum performance. Whether as a leader of 10 or 10,000+ people, your goal is to influence and lead as you would like to follow.

Closing the Gap
As your team begins to stress less, their focus shifts away from problems and toward goal-achieving. This stems from a culture which views problems as opportunities to increase optimum performance, individually and collectively. This us the powerful link between stress solutions and goal-achieving for self and others. In my virtual workshops for company leaders and their employees, I delve into the specifics of closing the gap from goal-setting to goal-achieving through resolving unhealthy stress showing up as worn-out habits or ways of leading. Consider the following:

Did you know that *84 per cent of employees experience physical, psychological, behavioral symptoms of poor mental health and that equates to 17-44 billion in lost productivity annually as a result?

The following statistics further demonstrate that society is very much assuming stress is normal and accepted:

  • 50 billion spent annually in Canada on mental health costs;
  • 17 per cent of employees have taken time off in last 12 months for mental health related needs;
  • 19 per cent population misses social/family engagements due to mental health related issues;
  • 23 per cent of population is on medication for mental health related challenges;
  • One in four Canadians deal with an anxiety related disorder in a lifetime / 40 million+ Americans;
  • 30 per cent of annual disability claims in Canada are mental health related / 15-33 billion cost;
  • 35 million workdays lost to mental health issues (10 mill workers); and
  • Presenteeism estimated 22 billion cost annually to Canadian employers

Begin With One Change
When you lead as you would like to follow, you encourage others forward to minimize worn-out stress triggers, placing emphasis on what you do want and how you do want to feel. Consider this. Each time any of us makes a purchase, engages in a conversation, establishes a commitment or makes a choice, we’re casting our belief vote in the greater good for self and all, or not.

Really ponder this sentiment. If you make just one change, which will reap a monumental positive impact on al), adopt the premise to voice your truth via your purchases and through conversations, commitments and choices. Your world will transform.

It begins with two choices: believe everything you hear, read or see OR acknowledge the grey area in what’s being presented and make a choice to become truly informed; then let go by trading in stress and fear reactions for responsive, emotional intelligent ones. If you are currently experiencing stress and are not happy about a situation, understand that it is the attention to that situation that creates more of what you don’t want. The needed shift is to take attention off the situation you don’t want and place your entire focus on what you  want, how you  want to feel and where you want to land next.

Making the Commitment
Now is the time to make a commitment to:

  • approach life from a solutions-focused outcome and view stress as a worn-out approach which you intend to shift;
  • see every challenge or hurdle as an opportunity to move you toward becoming the next best version of self;
  • make the choice to influence your mindset, vision and attitude to effect the change you desire; and,
  • in turn become a leader who views stress as optional to influence a collective greatness from a place of universal faith, opportunity and action.

Stress Solutions Tip: Practice Releasing Judgement of Yourself and Others
In the moment you’re aware of being hard on yourself, berating yourself for this or that—STOP and identify one aspect of your day you’re grateful for that you’ve created. Over time, this shifts negative beliefs undermining your earnest efforts to move forward. The same goes for others. STOP focusing on correcting others and re-focus on growing yourself to create what you desire.

Stress Solutions Tip: Love or Fear
I can’t remember who first said this but it really stuck with me. If you are in the midst of feeling super anxious, frustrated or any negative feeling, ask yourself “what can love do now?” You will be amazed at how leading from this place puts you in charge of stressing less!

*via Forbes “Top 10 HR Trends for 2018”

To learn more about my Stress Solutions go to and click here to schedule a 30-minute complimentary 1:1 Stress Buster Call.

Christine Monaghan is a human-potential champion, co-creating solutions with leaders and teams to get from goal-setting to goal-achieving with a stress solutions approach. Her commitment—to influence clients to goal-achieve utilizing proven success principles; provoke a cultural shift from “stress is normal” to “stress is optional”; increase productive potential; decreased stress –based immense costs; become the leader others want to follow. Christine is a consultant; 1:1 coach, eLearning platform founder, author and international podcast host (Mental Health News Radio network).

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