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The Principle of the Rope

George asked, “Do you ever feel pressure?”

He was thinking about the breadth and depth of the Leadership Freak audience, as well as, the rigorous writing schedule I maintain.

George is one of a few college students I meet with. Really, he’s a friend.

He hopped in my Toyota pickup truck and I asked where he wanted to go. We ended up sitting outside a local cigar shop talking about life and leadership. My intention, during these conversations, is usually the same.

The principle of the rope:

Clarity is the result of dropping back into the weeds after climbing a rope for a look around. The big picture helps us make sense of the weeds.

My job is to throw the rope.

Life, for the most part, is lived in the weeds. Confusion is losing sight of the big picture while hacking away in the weeds. An important decision caused George to feel pressured. I lowered the rope.

Back to George’s question …

Feeling pressure:

  1. Pressure is self-imposed. I create pressure for myself by setting high standards. For example, I set a goal to post 365 times this year. So far, I’m on track for 363.
  2. Do it for you. I write for me. A large audience doesn’t stress me out because I’m not writing for the audience.
  3. Show up to serve. It doesn’t matter if the audience is 50 students, 1,300 CEO’s, or 5,000 nonprofit leaders. Just show up to add value.
  4. Bring yourself to challenges and opportunities. Pressure mounts when you fake it for others. We all grapple with this. The worst experiences I have as a presenter come from trying to be something I’m not.
  5. Connect with people who share your values and enjoy what you do. Don’t worry about the others.

Bonus: Express – don’t define – yourself by what you do.

What suggestions for handling pressure might you add?

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