If you don’t have stress and pressure — will you still perform?


If you don’t have stress and pres­sure – will you still per­form?

Part of the series:

Ian Watson and Elizabeth Lovius riff­ing on life as a lead­er


- And I think it is becom­ing recog­nised now, I’m cer­tainly hear­ing and see­ing this more and more that the well-being of the human beings who are involved in any organ­isa­tion, the qual­ity of their well-being is a very, very big determ­in­ant in terms of what you’re talk­ing about, how well they per­form and right down, all the way down to the bot­tom line of the com­pany, how well it per­forms as a busi­ness. And it’s some­thing that is worth invest­ing in. I think, you know, that is being recog­nised increas­ingly now that as you say, if you’ve got poten­tially either an unhappy work­force or you’ve got people who are lit­er­ally just stressed, over­whelmed, frightened, feel­ing insec­ure. None of us per­form that well from that state of mind, at least not if we’re in that state of mind for much of the time. We can go in and out of it, but it’s not a prob­lem. But to expect people to per­form well in a state of chron­ic stress is unhelp­ful.

- I mean, I don’t think any­body likes to be in a state of chron­ic stress.

- Right.

- Or, expects them­selves or oth­ers to per­form well in a state of Chronic stress real­ist­ic­ally.

- Do you find that people get habitu­ated to it, though?

- Yes, and I think that we think it’s nor­mal.

- Right, that’s what I–

- And even more that, we think we need it.

- Yeah. That’s what I hear from people, because as I’m sure you recall in con­ver­sa­tions that I’ve had, but people say, “Well yeah, this sounds good here,” you know. “I’d love to be more settled and laid back, “but how would I ever get any­thing done? People asso­ci­ate that with kind of passiv­ity or lazi­ness even, do you see that too?

- That’s def­in­itely the mind­set. If I don’t push myself, if I don’t pres­sure myself I’m not going to do any­thing.

- Yeah.

- But I’m won­der­ing, you know, do you think that’s true?

- No, I don’t see that and I nev­er see it play out that way.

- Okay.

- What I see is, when people have less on my mind, they still do what needs to be done, but often they just do it in a more effi­cient way. So they actu­ally get the job done without all that extra kind of noise in the sys­tem. And I haven’t seen any­body become lazy or inef­fi­cient through set­tling down and con­nect­ing more to who they really are on the inside, have you?

- No. Certainly not myself, and cer­tainly not oth­ers. What you say reminds me of, I was work­ing with a group and they said some days the ball is really big and com­ing at you really slow and some­times it’s speed­ing past you and you can’t know bet­ter what you do and I think that when we’re calm and settled the ball feels like it’s com­ing really slow and we know exactly what to do to catch it.

- Yeah.

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