How to Navigate Stress in a Storm

Sailors don’t resist the wind.

You can’t deal with the storm until you acknowledge the wind.

Fretting over things beyond your control is impotence stressing over incompetence.

The worst stress comes from resisting unalterable realities.

Image of stormy seas with a lighthouse.

Sailors don't resist the wind.

We’re all sailors in a storm that isn’t ending soon. Teams are often stressed about things they can’t control.

Life isn’t returning to normal anytime soon. So why are you stressed about something you can’t change?

It’s ridiculous to stand at the helm and rage against a contrary wind. In a storm, the best you can do is lash yourself to the deck and steer into the wind. To rage against unalterable storms is arrogant futility.

Resisting the inevitable squanders resources, drains energy, and increases frustration.

Figure out how to navigate the storm in ways you can brag about around the table.

How to navigate stress in a storm:

#1. Accept the world as it is, not as you wish it was.

Stop looking for magic fairy dust. The only answer is to turn into the wind.

#2. Determine how you want to show up – before you show up.

Don’t let unalterable turbulence distract you from things within your control, your attitude for example.

#3. Focus on the way you treat each other.

The most important thing about us is the way we treat each other while we do the work.

#4. Give yourself and others some grace.

It’s nearly impossible to achieve the same results in a hurricane as in calm seas. Yes, aim high. Challenge yourself AND stop raging against the storm.

#5. Ask your team three questions.

  1. “How soon do you believe things will settle down?”
  2. “With reality in mind, how do we want to treat each other?”
  3. “What does success look like TODAY?”

How might leaders best serve teams that are experiencing long-term turbulence?

What suggestions do you have for navigating stress in a storm?