anxiety affects leadership

Guest Post by Jessica Thiefels

Being the leader of a company comes with its perks and drawbacks. One of the drawbacks: anxiety. Even if you don’t deal with this in your personal life, being in a leadership role can cause it to flare up, whether you’re asked to take on more responsibilities or need to manage new employees. Unfortunately, this anxiety causes stress and can impact your ability to manage the business and your employees successfully.

Stop Anxiety From Affecting Your Leadership

If you don’t think you’ve noticed any issues, consider the ways anxiety affects you and your work and learn how to take control of it.

Anxiety and Your Self-Esteem

Trigger: Not ready for new responsibilities.
How we feel about ourselves is an important factor in how we tackle challenges, make important decisions, and interact with our colleagues. A major factor in how we feel about ourselves is how we’re treated—especially in the workplace.

When suffering from anxiety at work, though, your own self-esteem may leave you feeling frustrated, scared, and even worthless, making you a challenging person to work with. Unfortunately, this hurts both your employees and your business: “Supervisors with a short-fuse can cause employees to hate their job. The negative energy will reduce productivity of the employees across the company,” according to experts at The Office Club.

While this may seem like common sense, you might be blind to how this new anxiety is affecting your job. Are there issues with employee satisfaction that you haven’t been able to figure out? Perhaps your anxiety is part of the problem.

Take Control: Say three positive things about yourself every morning. The more you find positivity in yourself, the more you’ll reflect that as a leader. Employees that are praised for doing well and feel good about their work will work harder for you, making your business more successful.

Anxiety and Your Ability to Lead

Trigger: Being a new manager.

Moving from employee to team leader, manager or even a “C” role is one of the most challenging transitions someone can make within the same company. The way you hold yourself in the office and interact with friends is suddenly different because of the dynamic shifts. Now you’re a superior, and your job is to manage the people that you once joked around with in the kitchen when you were supposed to be working.

Luckily, much of this anxiety can be quelled when you remember that you don’t have to be a dictator to be a great leader. While it will be a challenge to reprimand and hand assignments down to employees who were once your equal, you don’t have to do it in a way that’s rude or demeaning.

In fact, being a manager that was once on their level is valuable—employees may trust you more, and you can empathize better with their issues and concerns.

Take control: Remember that the only thing changing is your focus. Your job now is to strategize and prioritize higher-level objectives. Managing employees is just part of the job. Focus on listening to and working with employees, just like you did before, and you’ll be more likely to transition into your new role with minimal roadblocks.

Anxiety and Your Motivation

Trigger: In the weeds with projects.

“The best ideas in the world still require the focus and persistence of their founder,” says entrepreneur Ted Rollins. Anxiety makes it hard to mentally “stay in the game,” especially when you’re behind on a project and have others to focus on as well. Unfortunately, without you leading with a clear head, employees and others in management will likely fall off course as well.

While it’s not ideal to be behind on deadlines, it’s a reality that you have to manage when you’re in a leadership position. Knowing how to handle this anxiety is one of the most important parts of being in a management position.

Take control: Break your workload into manageable “chunks” and write them into a to-do list. This practice helps to stop them from bouncing around in your head, making it impossible to get anything else done. With a clear head, you’re ready to lead and be productive. And don’t forget: you’re in a management position and can delegate as necessary.

Anxiety is a reality for many people in leadership positions. Unfortunately, when you’re responsible for a company and the team of people who are making it successful, you can’t let anxiety take over. Get it under control by managing your time, focusing on the positive and keeping your duties and priorities in focus. When you let go of the superfluous things, you’re able to release that anxiety and do what you love.

Guest Post

jessicaJessica Thiefels has been writing for more than ten years and has five years of experience in the marketing world. She is currently a lifestyle blogger and has been featured on Ms. Career Girl, Manta, and LifeHack.org. Follow her on Twitter @Jlsander07.