Feeling anxious? Read further ...A philosopher I'm not, but I've about drawn the conclusion that work and worry have become synonymous in our industry. Stress and anxiety are virtually unavoidable. Rightsizing Selecting a computer system, whether micro, mini or mainframe, that best meets the needs of the application. and downsizing (1) Converting mainframe and mini-based systems to client/server LANs.
(2) To reduce equipment and associated costs by switching to a less-expensive system.
(jargon) downsizing programs abound. Acquisitions and divestitures are multiplying. Reengineering and reinvention of companies are daily occurrences. Additionally, the opportunities (or impositions) of new technologies are taking a terrible toll among leaders and rank and file alike. These pressures--often coupled with family anxieties--make for a growing number of tense and testy tes·ty
adj. tes·ti·er, tes·ti·est
Irritated, impatient, or exasperated; peevish: a testy cab driver; a testy refusal to help. men and women in the workforce.
Today's managers wake up with a list of 20 tasks to complete. Dissatisfaction results if they achieve 19 of the 20. They are guilt ridden because they feel they've fallen short. They don't stop to realize that their goals were probably unrealistic and had them programmed for failure. If they had managed to accomplish all 20 items, they more than likely would have felt the objectives weren't challenging enough. The next day's list might include 21 tasks. In both cases, anxiety is the result, either from the perceived failure to set tough goals or the failure to meet the goals set.
In the hit Broadway play "Annie," the little redhaired, orphaned heroine looks forward to tomorrow with the words, "You're only a day away." The idea is that everything will be better, brighter, more secure and less harried in the future. But constant anticipation breeds constant anxiety. The future never measures up to its expectations.
Albert Einstein said "the significant problems we face today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them." I believe that. Einstein's statement in and of itself creates anxiety because of the uncertainty and change it predicts--uncertainty and change required within the individual.
When do people need a leader the most? In times of uncertainty. When is it most difficult to lead people? You guessed it--in times of uncertainty.
My granddaughters love Play-Doh, that squishy squish·y
adj. squish·i·er, squish·i·est
1. Soft and wet; spongy.
2. Sloppily sentimental.
Adj. 1. clay that comes in beautiful colors. For hours they will mold it, pound it flat and cut out figures with cookie cutters. I've rolled awkward lumps into round balls numerous times for them when their little hands could not manage the clay. We have gone through dozens of cans of the stuff because my little girls have a recurring re·cur
intr.v. re·curred, re·cur·ring, re·curs
1. To happen, come up, or show up again or repeatedly.
2. To return to one's attention or memory.
3. To return in thought or discourse. challenge--they forget to put the Play-Doh back into its containers, or fail to put the lid on properly. Play-Doh dries out. It gets so stiff and hard that you can no longer mold it.
The older we get, the less flexible we naturally become. Arthritis sets in; we feel stiffer. At midlife mid·life
See middle age.
Of, relating to, or characteristic of middle age. , we realize that we take longer to recuperate re·cu·per·ate
To return to health or strength; recover. from the previous day's exercise. Mentally, the older we get, the more we tend to enjoy routine. We have a harder time coping with different ideas and ways of looking at life and work. Yep, Einstein was right, and we struggle mightily might·i·ly
1. In a mighty manner; powerfully.
2. To a great degree; greatly.
Adv. 1. mightily - powerfully or vigorously; "he strove mightily to achieve a better position in life"
2. trying to change our level of thinking, yet change we must.
Leaders are dealers in hope. When people are anxious and lack hope, lack answers or lack direction, the leader must have them. And what happens when people are uncertain and anxious? They look for security, they reach out for hope, and they do nothing!
So, don't manage, lead. Don't try to solve every problem immediately. Postpone. Prioritize pri·or·i·tize
v. pri·or·i·tized, pri·or·i·tiz·ing, pri·or·i·tiz·es Usage Problem
To arrange or deal with in order of importance.
v.intr. . Listen to others, you'll learn. Remember that communication eliminates frustration. Understand that it's better to light a candle To Light a Candle is the 2004 second fantasy novel of Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory's Obsidian Trilogy. Plot summary
The struggle Continues against the Demons and introduces new heroes and enemies along the way. than curse the darkness. Ordinary people will produce extraordinary results if they are informed. Accept that it doesn't help to do something well if it's not worth doing in the first place. Be flexible! Remember the Play-Doh.
In a striking metaphor, the French World War II pilot and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery points us in the right direction. He said, "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up men to go to the forest to gather wood, saw it, and nail planks together. Instead, teach them a desire for the sea."
In each of us, a desire for the sea springs from two sources: meaningful challenge and personal choice. If you combine challenge and choice with a profound sense of urgency, you'll go a long way toward creating a formula for success that eliminates anxiety and helps change the level of thinking required for tomorrow. Yes, it is only a day away!
About the author: Willis Ports is vice president and general manager, Inland Paperboard and Packaging, Rome, Georgia Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Rome is the largest city in and the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, United States. It is the principal city of the Rome, Georgia Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Floyd County. , USA. He is also a member of the Solutions! Editorial Board and is an active leader within PIMA and TAPPI TAPPI Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry . Prior to joining Inland, Potts served for many years with Union Camp Corp. Contact him by email at: email@example.com