Don't Lose Touch It's Hurting You More Than You Realize

Just recently I had a chance to speak in New York to a group of leaders and it was a phenomenal experience for me. In preparation for the event, I did a ton of research in order to give them the most value I could.

One source I turned to was Sean Achor and a book he wrote called “The Happiness Advantage”. If you haven’t read it, it’s a great book to help you be more happy in your life.

It’s not just “hug a tree” and sing kumbaya kind of stuff. There’s actually data in the book to support you to live a happier more fulfilled life. One piece that I really like, he shares toward the end of the book. Its a great analogy about football and your frontline.

So, what does he mean by that?

In football there is the quarterback, he’s behind the frontline or offensive line, and their job is to protect him from the competition coming through. The frontline allows the quarterback, to: have time to think; get composure; handle the stress; handle the pressure and do something extraordinary that he wouldn’t be able to do under the face of extreme pressure.

Take away that frontline and what happens? All of a sudden: the competition comes through; there is way too much stress; there is way too much pressure and nothing great can come from that because he just gets crushed every time.

Understand that what’s true in football is also true in life.

We go to the office and we go to work and we’re doing what we’re supposed to do. Then we get more priorities, more tasks and more things pile on.  In the face of that kind of pressure, and stress and overwhelm, what do we typically do? We typically turn inward. Saying things to ourselves like: “I’ll take care of it. I’ll just keep trying” Then we start doing things like:  eating at our desk; not taking time to connect with colleagues in the hallway; our emails become shorter and worst of all we stop going out with our friends.

We completely turn inward. That's the big fatal flaw because we’re not able to handle the stress as well. We're not able to effectively handle the pressure and nothing extraordinary is possible.

Of course, usually you do get it done in the end but it’s so much harder and so much more stressful. What the research says is that by not using your frontline, by not turning to your support system, it just shoots your stress levels through the roof. Actually in some studies your blood pressure goes up by 30 points or higher. It’s unbelievable.

So when the pressure is mounting the first thing you want to do is reach out to that front line, which is the people who can support you. When you’re feeling pressure and stress go pick up the phone, send a LinkedIn message, send an email, go for lunch. Do something. Stay social and maintain your relationships.

You don’t want to give that up. That’s your life raft when you’re under pressure. If you want to do the extraordinary and you want to find a way to win, trust your frontline, maintain your social bonds and great things are possible for you.

Calvin Strachan made the Find a Way to Win programs after becoming a leader in several multi-million dollar sales organizations ranging from: direct sales to pharmaceutical sales to personal development.

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