Executive Stress Management

This seems to be a very stressful season for Pregnancy Center Executives. Not only do we have to make sure that services continue to be provided with excellence, regular communications are written, vendors are paid but add to that a seasonal dip in giving causing anxiety about things like whether or not you’ll make payroll. Not to mention seasonal fundraising events that need to be developed and managed and you’ve got major work load issues. Which essential task will you choose not to do this week? Or to be more accurate what 50 things will you choose not to do in order to do the other 150 things that seem more important. Should you take that phone call? Should you answer that email? Should work from home, or go in early, or stay late, or etc . . . . What do you do to cope? There are certainly tips and techniques to manage stress but sometimes when the world comes crashing down on you the sheer bone crushing tonnage is enough to put you in survival mode. The last thing you want is some know-it-all corporate retiree sitting in a comfy chair looking down on you from his ivory tower above the clouds who has never had to be the marketing expert and the HR expert, and the service expert, and the donor expert, and the everything else expert all at once telling you that God has not ‘called’ you to do it all. What you need now is for that got-it-all-together fair-weather friend to put some boots on the ground and lend a hand.

I can tell you what I do in situations like this ’cause we’re in the middle of it again. I tend to put my head down, lean my shoulder in, grit my teeth, close my eyes, and head in to the wind praying like crazy God will send someone to walk next to me. Because frankly sometimes I’m so overwhelmed with minutia that I couldn’t tell you what I needed if you asked. I take that back. I need someone NOT to ask but rather jump in and start doing something, anything. If the boat is swamped the last thing the captain wants is for some sailor to wade up to him while he is bailing water just to stay afloat and say, “Gee, Captain I’m worried you are working too hard. Is there anything I can do to help?” I think that captain might say something like, “Good God man, you are standing waste deep in water. Use your bucket!”

Can I get an “Amen” or am I the only one? What do you do?

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