Ernest Hemingway once said, “No story is terrible if the story is true, if the prose is clean and honest, and if it affirms courage is grace under pressure.” What an intriguing way of putting it! There are days in any business where leadership and team members are under a great deal of pressure. Hemingway’s message was one of maintaining steadiness under pressure by way of truth, honesty, and courage. And by doing so, you and your constituents will experience grace which calls forth change and gives us the strength to move through obstacles.
Having grace under pressure is a developed skill. It begins by hitting the pause button when stressful situations arise. It is staying calm and keeping your composure as business dynamics accelerate. In times of stress, be the one who hits the pause button, thinks clearly and then acts decisively. Your composure will be an asset to your team as you discuss options. And make sure to create an environment where it’s okay for people to share difficulties. Be the one people can depend on for guidance, that stable place to land. When you hear about an issue, take a breath, and give yourself a moment to regroup. Slow down, to speed up.
At Globalstar, we have a bias for action. This bias was dialed up during COVID-19 as we turned a challenging situation around by sustaining equanimity during what assuredly was a devastating period for many companies. We made the decision to maintain grace while staying agile and actionable during the downturn. We witnessed many companies that operated in a reactive mode, which is the absence of grace under pressure. We stayed calm and worked on things that were within our control. We kept our emotions in check. We also invested more time in virtual meetings which helped foster ways to recharge by creating a tethered team environment via virtuality. Basically, our team members were there for one another and because of that, we are stronger and better than ever. We turned pressure into proficiency.