By Steve Moran

Every leader has a lot of things that they worry about. We know about the big ones: occupancy, staffing, interest rates, inflation, and getting sued. Then there is the personal stuff that challenges everyone: marriages and partners, kids and grandkids — and, more trivial but adding to the stress burden, things like checking email, writing reports, creating systems, and so much more.

Just writing the list is exhausting.

These things we worry about, these tensions, take a toll on us emotionally and physically. They cause us to lose sleep, to eat less healthy meals, to drink too much, and to not exercise enough.

Making It Better

Our goal at Foresight is to make your life less stressful, to take away some of that tension, that stress. But there is a big problem …

Resolving these problems requires an increase in stressors to reduce stress. It means changing the way we have always done things. It means being willing to think about things in different ways. It might mean changing vendors that have gotten very comfortable. It might mean firing someone you have worked with for a long time.

It might require you as a leader changing the way you interact with team members, vendors, and the public.

Self-Inflicted Pain

While there are some stressors that are completely out of our control — interest rates, COVID, inflation, ill health — most of the stressors we experience are self-inflicted. That is not to say that we deliberately set out to cause ourselves pain; we don’t. But what happens is that we tend to do the things that make us more comfortable in the short run rather than taking on more stress, more pain in the moment.

  • Smokers pick up another cigarette because it is easier in the short term than stopping smoking, which is really hard to do.
  • We eat too much or the wrong things because it is easier than not eating or eating carrots.
  • We don’t fire someone because finding a replacement is hard, and the replacement might be even worse.

The best leaders, the leaders who are running great organizations, have figured out that the pain of change is always worth it.