A Sense of Self: Have You Known Leaders That Smile Under Pressure?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Stephen Peteritas 6 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #157808

    As I was watching the NCAA championship matchup last night between Kentucky and Kansas, I was impressed with the fact that Kansas coach Bill Self had a grin on his face during one of the most pressure-filled moments of the game. His team was down by at least 15 points and he exuded a quiet confidence that surely contributed to his team’s ability to stay in the game and almost mount a comeback. It’s no wonder that he was named the Naismith Coach of the Year.

    But what does make me wonder is this:

    Have you known leaders or managers that are able to keep their cool – who almost seem to become more calm and collected – as the stress and strain of a deadline or unexpected drama ensues?

    Does it make you admire them or do you think it’s annoying because it almost seems as if they’re making light of a critical moment?

    Curious to hear your thoughts.

    Rock chalk.


  • #157816

    Stephen Peteritas

    Haha interestingly enough I’m a diehard Jayhawk yet I normally get frustrated when I don’t feel people are taking the moment seriously enough. There is something in both business and sports to be said about staying loose though and obviously Bill Self knows what he’s doing so there’s really no room to criticize his methods.

  • #157814

    …I like that: “staying loose.” That’s a great way to think about it. I’ll bet there’s something physiologically that restricts our performance – mentally and physically – when we get all constricted and stressed out.

    Took a quick look – sounds like cortisol is not always our friend…


  • #157812

    David Dejewski

    In a crisis, people naturally look for a calm center. When they find one, people tend to rally around it. It has a calming, comforting, and focusing effect.

    As an emergency responder n the street, I found this skill had a profound effect on scenes and on my patients. It was so important that I included it as an additional area of study in classes I would teach.

    I personally found it easier to be the calm center when people were in what most people would consider a bonafide panic – as in life and death or real pain situations. In the suit-and-tie-wearing bureaucratic office space: red tape, artificial deadlines, drama, and tempest-in-a-teacup crisis situations generally annoyed me. I could shake them off most of the time, but there were days when I wanted to throttle someone.

    “Really?!” I would say to myself as I smiled across the table at some red-faced person emphatically explaining how the world was going to end because so-in-so didn’t do this or that administrative task – or this person said this to that person…”Is this really a crisis?” My outward actions may have appeared positive, but there were times when it took every bit of strength to sit still, listen, and respond in a positive way.

    Everyone is in a different place. That thought is what kept me grounded – that and some awesome staff who knew when to step in before I lost my patience.

    Yes – I admire people who can remain positive across the entire spectrum. Both my father and my father-in-law seem to have this gift. They can absorb anything from serious to nonsense and smile right through it. I think being able to do this a combination of natural talent and many years of practice.

  • #157810

    Corey McCarren

    It’s definitely useful to have a calm leader in crisis. I think most people can second that when you let the stress hit you it only goes downhill.

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