Leadership Under Pressure

We all love succeeding, but success will always bring new levels of pressure. The more your company expands, the greater the pressure you have to deal with. The more your church grows, the more pressure you will face. It's the nature of growth. I believe, there is a direct correlation between a leader's ability to handle pressure and the size of their organization. In other words, if you increase your ability to handle pressure you will greatly increase your potential to handle more blessing.

Here are 3 Common Leadership Tests as a Result of Pressure:

  1. Pressure can pervert your perspective. One of the biggest mistakes in leadership is to get too high with the high's and too low with the low's. A low obviously causes pressure, but so can a high. As I mentioned earlier, success increases pressure and pressure often causes us to lose perspective. Therefore, success is as dangerous, if not more, than failure when it comes to losing our way. If you are like me, you will begin to rely on your feelings and perceptions rather than on facts and reality when under pressure. This is always dangerous and usually results in us saying or doing something we regret. The best way to combat this common mistake is by to seek counsel from an outside source. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived said, "in a multitude of counselors there is safety." An outside perspective is usually free of the emotional part of the decision and generally can enlighten you to an honest point of view. Therefore, it important to always have mentors, people who have gone further than you and who will give honest counsel in those times when we tend to lose our perspective.
  2. Pressure can cause you to compromise your priorities. When pressure comes, fear usually follows and where fear is you can count on messed up priorities. For example, if you are facing an enormous amount of pressure at work, you will probably do what the rest of us would do, you'd spend more time at work until the pressure is relieved. This extra time will cause you to cheat time with someone else, usually your family time. This may be tolerated for a season, but what if that season drags on and on. Soon, your priorities get all out of sorts and what you love and value the most can be damaged beyond repair. I once had a man in a multi-level marketing meeting boast about how someone in his company was so dedicated to the company that he had missed the birth of his daughter to do a sales call. The justification was that when he had made enough money to not need to work anymore, he would be able to spend as much time as he wanted with his children and so he was willing to sacrifice now for those benefits later. While that perspective sounds noble in theory, it is completely sideways in real life. You only have the moments you create now with your family. Our children tend to grow up with or without us, and they need us at each stage of their development. If you value your family, no amount of pressure at work justifies compromising that priority. I have never met anyone who, on their deathbed, regretted not spending more time at work. I have, however, met numerous people who have regretted not dedicating more time to their family. Set your priorities and then chose to live by them, no matter how much pressure comes your way.
  3. Pressure is a test of leadership - success is a test of character. Great success will test your character. Many men have fallen because their giftings took them to a place their character wasn't strong enough to sustain. It is important therefore to continually develop your character. The best way I know how to do that is to make a daily habit of spending time in God's Word and with His Holy Spirit. Nothing will develop your character more efficiently than the Bible. That's why King David said, "I have hid Your Word in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee," and "Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." In other words, it is your life's road map, so study it daily. How you handle pressure, on the other hand, will test of your leadership skills. It is important to continue honing and developing these skills by regularly reading great leadership books as well as finding a mentor who has gone further than you and can push you to your next level. 

Question: Which one of the three tests do you struggle with the most? Why? Please comment below in the "Leave a Reply" box. Thank you.