S2E5: Steve Cuss on Managing Leadership Anxiety

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Anxiety can wreak havoc on leaders, teams, and organizations. Joanna Meyer and Brian Gray talk with Steve Cuss, author of "Managing Leadership Anxiety," about the ways we can recognize and recover from anxiety in our work and in our homes.


Steve's definition of anxiety:

"Anxiety is whatever response happens next after you're not getting what you think you need."

Anger as an anxious response:

"On a parenting front, I get angry when I'm disrespected. Because I believe in any given moment I need to be respected as a parent, and not just by my kids, by their friends. My kids have learned in our household respect is paramount in or family, but not all their friends have. I've noticed myself having to manage my anger when they're blowing my wife off, or blowing me off. "

On how to recognize your own anxiety:

"You can begin by figuring out 'where does anxiety first show up in my body?' It's a spinning mind, a racing heart, or a tightening gut, and for some people it's all three...Then simply ask yourself 'What is it that I believe I need in any given moment that I don't actually need?'"

On the relationship between anxiety and God:

"I think [anxiety is] actually a spiritual warfare force that...competes for the space where God resides. I think it's very, very hard for us to be present to our anxiety and to God at the same time. I think God can be present to us, God can do whatever God wants. But for our ability to be aware of God's presence, I think anxiety blocks it."  


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