1. Decision in action, calmness in crisis.

When under pressure at work tell yourself in a calm voice to, “calm down and make a decision” and keep repeating this mantra. This should give your brain space and time to relax and enable you to make a decision to the best of your cognitive ability.

2. Don’t panic as it scares the troops. 

Don’t flap when under pressure as a leader’s emotions are contagious. If you panic so will your staff. Control your emotions, control your behaviour and your staff will control theirs.

3. Chew the fat.

People matter so sit down and chat with them. Break bread, make the tea, get to know them, listen to their concerns and share their moments of pride and achievement.

4. No plan survives contact with the enemy.

Don’t trust fake certainty as the unexpected will always happen. The future is never certain. Prepare for the worst case scenarios, just in case.

5.  Think two up two down.

When planning always think about your role in the plan two levels up but also how your plan will affect your staff two levels down.

6. Fill the information vacuum.

Communication is one of the most important aspects of leadership. If people are not kept informed, particularly about decisions that affect them, they are very likely to fill the void with incorrect and damaging information. Withering whispers in an organisation grow strong and become damaging noise.

7. Ask and listen to feedback.

Confident leaders will listen to constructive feedback so they can learn and improve.

8. Go gestalt.

All members of a team should share and agree on their roles so the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts. Real psychological safety comes from teams that know each other’s roles and their individual contribution and value to the team and organisation.

Written by Stewart Hill

If you want to hear more from Stewart Hill he will be speaking at our next event The SHE Show North East, Tuesday 28th March 2023, Hilton Newcastle Gateshead


Stewart Hill

Stewart is living proof of the brain’s ability to grow and of a person to flourish. Stewart faced many testing physical environments as a British Army officer, particularly in warfighting operations, all of which challenged his mindset and allowed him to become stronger and resilient. His life changed the moment shrapnel exploded into his brain, whilst on operations in Afghanistan in 2009. Medically discharged from the Army in 2012 after 3 years of rehabilitation it was an end to his 18 years of service, a life he loved. Nothing prepared him for dealing with the impact of his traumatic brain injury.

Stewart’s life lessons have been forged in the furnace of adversity, high pressure environments, isolation, career loss, injury and death. Never have his experiences been relevant to so many. The leadership techniques Stewart used instinctively in Helmand Province have been improved through living with a traumatic brain injury and mastering his brain impairments. Stewart will show how:

Strong leaders inspire their followers through pathos.

Compassion, trust and courage are the foundation of teams that gel and work together, generating loyalty for the company and a bond within the team that leads to outstanding performance

Getting leadership right in an organisation can be the difference between success and failure. Inspirational leadership is about taking individuals and your teams along with you by moving them from merely functioning, through operating effectively to inspirational leadership amongst all team members.

Please note, the views expressed by the original article author are theirs alone and do not necessarily represent those of Washingtondowling Associates Ltd or The SHE Show and therefore we take no responsibility for the content or accuracy of this post.