Nurturing Resilience: Steps for Leaders to Stay Open-Hearted Under High Pressure

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    Embracing Emotional Intelligence for Effective Leadership in Challenging Times

    In today’s fast-paced and high-pressure business landscape, leaders face numerous challenges that can test their emotional resilience. The ability to stay open-hearted and maintain emotional balance is crucial for effective leadership. In this article, we will explore practical steps that leaders can take to cultivate open-heartedness, enhance emotional intelligence, and navigate high-pressure situations with grace and composure.

    Step 1: Cultivate Self-Awareness

    Self-awareness is the foundation of emotional intelligence and the first step towards staying open-hearted under high pressure. Take time for self-reflection, identifying your triggers, strengths, and limitations. Understand how pressure affects your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. By developing self-awareness, you can recognize when stress starts to impact your emotional state, allowing you to intervene and choose a more open-hearted response.

    Step 2: Practice Mindfulness

    Mindfulness is a powerful tool for staying present, focused, and open-hearted. Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or taking short mindful breaks throughout the day. These practices can help you regulate your emotions, reduce stress, and cultivate a sense of inner calm amidst high-pressure situations.

    Step 3: Foster a Supportive Network

    Surround yourself with a supportive network of colleagues, mentors, or coaches who can provide guidance, perspective, and encouragement during challenging times. Cultivate relationships built on trust and open communication, where you can share your concerns and seek support. Having a strong support system can help you stay open-hearted by providing emotional nourishment and reminding you that you are not alone in facing high-pressure situations.

    Step 4: Embrace Vulnerability

    Being open-hearted requires vulnerability. Recognize that it is okay to acknowledge and express your emotions authentically. Share your challenges, fears, and uncertainties with trusted individuals, allowing them to support and guide you. By embracing vulnerability, you create a culture of openness within your team and foster connections based on trust and empathy.

    Step 5: Practice Empathy

    Empathy is a key component of emotional intelligence and plays a vital role in staying open-hearted under pressure. Cultivate empathy by actively listening to others, seeking to understand their perspectives, and validating their emotions. By demonstrating empathy, you create a supportive environment that encourages open communication, collaboration, and understanding.

    Step 6: Prioritize Self-Care

    Under high pressure, self-care often takes a backseat. However, prioritizing self-care is essential for maintaining an open-hearted stance. Engage in activities that recharge and rejuvenate you, such as exercise, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or practicing self-compassion. Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally enables you to approach challenging situations with a clearer and more open heart.

    “Staying open-hearted under high pressure is not just a skill, but a profound commitment to authentic leadership. It is in these moments of vulnerability that true strength emerges, allowing us to connect, inspire, and make a meaningful impact. At Boardsi, we believe that open-hearted leaders have the power to shape extraordinary workplaces and drive lasting success.” – Martin Rowinski, CEO of Boardsi

    Staying open-hearted under high pressure is a journey that requires self-awareness, mindfulness, support, vulnerability, empathy, and self-care. By embracing these steps, leaders can enhance their emotional intelligence, foster resilience, and lead with grace and authenticity even in the most challenging times. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” By staying open-hearted, leaders can make a positive difference in the lives of their team members, organizations, and themselves.

    Remember, in the face of pressure, choose openness, choose empathy, and choose to lead with an open heart.


    • Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. Bantam Books.
    • Brown, B. (2012). Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. Avery.


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    Martin Rowinski, Boardsi CEO
    Martin Rowinski, Boardsi CEO
    Martin Rowinski is a global technology pioneer, executive recruitment expert, and international speaker with 25 years of c-level experience. He is the co-founder and CEO of Boardsi, a SAAS-based executive recruitment firm. Rowinski created and spearheaded their proprietary software that allows companies to effortlessly search for the most qualified Boards of Directors and Boards of Advisors from a pool of thousands of top executives across the U.S. and internationally. This software also allows executives to find board positions in highly sought-after companies in a simple, easy, and streamlined process. Boardsi specializes in helping companies build executive boards quicker, easier, and more efficiently in order to achieve exponential growth. Boardsi has also been an industry leader in curating a national private network for c-level executives. Rowinski is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, The Corporate Matchmaker, and has been featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur, FastCompany, NASDAQ, Bloomberg, CEO Today and The Marquis Who's Who (2022 - 2023).