Leaders are always on stage; they are not allowed to have a bad day. It sounds a little harsh, but indeed true. Think about what would happen if your leader walked around showing the weight of the world on his/her shoulders. They might not be that obvious or dramatic, perhaps even deny they’re having a bad day if asked. The fact remains that their team could tell, perhaps even strangers: less talkative, less eye contact, just business, appearing distant and distracted. Remember, we garner more truth from non-verbal cues than from the spoken ones: posture, position, and facial expression are key forms of honest communication.
Now take a look in the mirror… when you are having a bad day, or are just anticipating the possibility of one, can anyone tell? If you are confident the answer is no – never, then keep leading and concentrate on sharing your perpetual positivity with the rest of your team. If you reluctantly admit it’s possible that others know when you’re having a less than stellar day, don’t despair…like all leadership qualities this too can be mastered!
Whatever our professional role or personal position in life, the environment is rarely our ideal design: there are always limitations of time, space, personnel, and funds. Combine this with the unexpected and assorted other elements beyond your span of control and you have a large collection of stressors. It is how we process such stress that determines if the world will know we are having a bad day or not. So much of our daily stress is predictable, so in theory should be easier to manage. Even the unpredictable is manageable with the correct perspective and practice.