According to the National Institutes of Health, "people who feel more in control at their jobs tend to feel less stressed out."

While executives and senior leaders have more control of their work, they manage people who feel like they have less control.

Employees in general are feeling more anxious and stressed. They're worried about lay-offs, wage freezes, and reduction in benefits. If they are in an organization where there has already been a reduction in the workforce, they want to know what will happen in the future plus they may have "survival guilt."

As an executive, you have to know how to manage your own stress plus lead your employees who may be having a hard time focusing on their work.

As a leader you may feel responsible for your employees and your organization to the detriment of your own health. At the same time you need to be able to look confident and calm so you don't pass your stress onto everyone else.

It becomes a stress cycle, but there are actions you can take.

• Learn how to use self-talk to keep yourself focused and prevent or stop negative thinking. Either bring in an outside consultant to teach your employees or use internal resources if available.
• Learn and practice basic stress management exercises that involve breathing in order to relax during the day and recharge your mental, physical and emotional energy. If you appear relaxed it will help your employees.
• Talk to other senior leaders to vent and share best practices for stress solutions.

Having worked with executives for over twenty years, I can tell you that executive stress is real, and you are not alone. Being a stressed out executive is not a reflection on your leadership abilities but not doing anything about it can negatively impact your focus, productivity and profit. Who can afford that?

Author's Bio: 

Simma Lieberman helps organizations become more profitable by creating inclusive cultures where people do their best work. Leaders contact her when they want to develop and implement a strategy that leverages the skills and talents of employees at every organizational level.
Contact Simma at 1-510-527-0700 or