Volume 32, November 2003: Renewing Ourselves

Keyzine: An E-zine for Leaders about the People Side of Business

Publisher: © Key Associates, LLC, 2003 ISSN # 1545-8873

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” — Anais Nin

“(t)he antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest … (it) is wholeheartedness.” — David Whyte

“Every pearl is the oyster’s small victory over irritation.” — Anon

“Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.” — Art Linkletter


  • What’s Hot in Leadership
  • Maintaining Yourself as a Leader
  • Frequently Asked Questions from Leaders
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Useful Websites & Newsletters
  • Articles/Publications

What’s Hot in Leadership

  • Designing work to provide opportunities for personal growth, autonomy and variety. Allowing people to govern the processes they own.
  • Avoiding overload by seeking out and letting go of non-value-added work.
  • Putting work in perspective and keeping it there – as only a part of life’s continuum.
  • Proving opportunities for associates to interact in non-work ways.

Maintaining Yourself as a Leader

Begin by analyzing your own style and personality. Are you impatient, hurried, frustrated with others, and trying to do several things at the same time (called stacking)? Take you own pulse – you may be the very model of burn-out. Your actions set the tone for the prevailing work model. Breathe, take stockof what’s important, and get a life.

Ask yourself if you are:

  • Overly perfectionistic?
  • Socially isolated or at odds with people?
  • Physically manifesting stress through headaches, upset stomach, weight gain or loss, teeth grinding, sleep disturbances?
  • Increasing your dependence on drugs, alcohol, food and other addictive substances?
  • Short-tempered?
  • Down in the dumps, drained or negative?
  • Avoiding decisions, work, commitments?
  • Feeling the "blahs" (inertia, apathy)?

If any of these symptoms of stress describe you, read on for some tips from the experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

“Job stress is a fact of life in this economy, with all the down-sizing and economic pressures. How do we fit in a ‘stress management’ program?”
Simple teachings. Help people:
  • Mentally shift their view from crisis to challenge.
  • Manage time – prioritize, but don’t be ruled by to-do lists.
  • Adopt healthy living – exercise, eat well, and get enough sleep.
  • Seek social support – family, friends, co-workers.
  • Eliminate substance abuse.
  • Relax – deep breathing, creative enterprise, laughter, play.
  • Share the load – delegate, manage up, consult with.
  • Let go of things they have no control over.
  • Live one day at a time.
  • Cultivate optimism (see our last month’s keyzine on the topic.
“We are so short-staffed, I can’t give people time off right now, and I can tell they need it.”
Instead of time off, how about “Time-Out?” This isn’t a coffee break. It’s time when employees are shifted to less stressful work, while fresh troops are assigned to the tasks. Disney uses this rotation system routinely to divert boredom and keep people fresh. Associates may move from driving the tram to taking tickets to sweeping and greeting. Create Time-Out space, free from distraction, where people can sit and relax, close their eyes and mentally envision themselves in the mountains or at the beach. Take a walk or a breathing break. Connect with nature. Play music. It only takes 10 minutes to revive a person. If they can’t leave their desk, do yoga there.
“When the holiday season should be down time, why are we stressing out more?”
Here are some of the causes (outside of work), offered by Dr. Morton C. Orman:
  • Social and Personal Expectations
  • Too Many Responsibilities
  • Trying To Change Or Control Other People
  • Unpleasant Memories (of Holidays)
  • Unpleasant Emotions And Other Body Reactions
  • Blaming Yourself Or Others When Things Go Wrong
  • Failing To Anticipate Likely Problems And Delays
  • Using Food, Drugs, Or Alcohol To Cope With Stress
  • Expecting Things To Go Well
  • Expecting Others To Behave As You Prefer

Read on for more details and his cure How to Keep Stress and Tension From Ruining Your Holiday Season.


A one-hour PowerPoint to download and use in Stress Management Training: Stress Stop.

Your one-stop guide to stress resources Stress and Stress Management.

Useful Websites & Newsletters

A collection of stress tests/resources: Stress Self-Test Resources and Experts.

A resource for relieving stress and enjoying life: StressCure.

The Job Stress Network of the Center for Social Epidemiology: Job Stress Network.



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