The Public Relations Strategist

How Do the Best Leaders Thrive Under Pressure?

Publication Date: 2011, Summer

Source: SO02 Public Relations Strategist
Product Code: 6K-031111
Organization/Author/Firm: Greg Beaubien
Specialization(s): Crisis Management / Leadership
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Has crisis become the new normal?

"We used to think of pressure as this random acute phenomenon that happened every once in a while,” executive business coach John Hamm said in a June 13 article for CNNMoney. Now, pressureis “something that executives need to deal with almost as a constant state.”

Some managers have learned to flourish in an intense, competitive, fastchanging environment. “The people who are going to thrive in the future are those who can use this pressure to excel,” said Justin Menkes, a consultant and author of the new book “Better Under Pressure: How Great Leaders Bring Out the Best in Themselves and Others.”

He found three consistent characteristics in the best leaders — traits that anyone can learn and develop.

Exceptional leaders demonstrate realistic optimism, which Menkes defines as the ability to understand the circumstances of a crisis, and to see in them a chance to excel.

When the world is tipping, finding order in chaos requires combining calmness, clarity of thought and drive to fix the situation.

The third consistent characteristic for overcoming pressure, subservience to purpose, meanscultivating tenacity and encouraging team collaboration regarding an important goal.

An article writer for more than 20 years and a frequent Tactics contributor, Chicago-based Greg Beaubien has forgotten most of the formal rules and mostly relies on gut instinct when he writes. Twitter @GregBeaubien


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