Those who live by the deadline, die by the deadline.
It probably feels like it sometimes; when pressure builds, when time closes in, and everyone wants your attention.
It’s not rocket science to figure out that continual pressure build up can have serious, even fatal outcome Ñ experts in our cover story call it the death spiral.
The real problem, writes Mark Story, is that while many senior managers realise they’re slipping into this spiral, too few bother doing anything about it.
And the greater the slippage, the greater the susceptibility to dysfunctional behaviour and illness.
“In our nanosecond world, time is the measure,” explains Dr Sven Hansen, tracing the steps to the spiral.
For example, $350 per hour, eight tonnes per minute, 10 percent growth per quarter, 550MHz etc are just few of the measures we race towards.
“Since Frederick Taylor paced the factory floor, stopwatch in hand, leisure has been systemically driven from our working Ñ and non-working lives,” says Hansen.
“Taylor warned that those who are too stupid or stubborn to speed up will have to drop out. Naturally we have all sped up and many now confront the limit of their ability to hurry up.”
Yes, we need brains, focus, luck, creativity, technical and leadership skills.
But underpinning success is an increasingly sought after treasure Ñ resilience or stamina, according to Hansen.
“Resilience gets you around the globe, through your emails, over crisis and past the competition. And if you are especially crafty it may leave you with enough energy to be parent, partner, colleague and friend.”
Whether you buy into the pace of modern executive life or not, resilience is an invaluable personal asset and the fuel of leadership. We can always do with more energy and endurance.

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