Mark of a Leader: 5 Steps to Keeping Your Cool While Under Pressure

Mark of a Leader: 5 Steps to Keeping Your Cool While Under Pressure

As a music manager of award-winning talent, Yandy Smith has to manage stress while getting results. (Photo: VH1)

Working in entertainment can be very rewarding. In this industry, we work hard to play hard. The rewarding part for me, as a talent manager and business owner, is watching my work come alive and seeing the fruits of my labor come to fruition. But, the stress level is almost always at an all-time high. More often than not, things don’t always work out as one would plan. It’s not always smooth sailing, but when it is I’m so grateful.

Working well under pressure is a skill many employers value and one in which you need to make your specialty. You should be able to tackle anything thrown at you. Take when I had to put together an entire video shoot for my former client Jim Jones in only five days. I had to find a location, a director and handle a whole bunch of other intricate details that go into the production of a video. Talk about stressful! But, I got it done, my client was happy and the video was hot!

I’m going to give you five steps on how ‘Make it happen, captain’ while holding it all together:

Breathe: Don’t get overwhelmed. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and start stressing over things you have no control of. Instead, take control of your actions. Take a deep breath and prepare to tackle the job at hand.

Evaluate the situation: Ask yourself, what is it that I need to do to make this happen? Who do I need to get this done? You need to know who, what, when, and how before jumping into action.

Prioritize: This is the MOST important part of the process! In order to successfully handle any stressful situation, you need to create a to-do list. This list will help keep you on track and moving towards the finish line.

Delegate: If you have the luxury to do so, solicit the help of an assistant or co-worker. I often call on the help of my assistant or an intern to move things along. Delegating duties from your to-do list is a great way to get the job done quickly. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work!

Spring into action: Now, you’re equipped with all you need to accomplish the task.

Working under pressure is unavoidable and difficult. But, knowing the steps to take helps to decrease stress and improve productivity. Now, you’re prepared to make it happen by any means.

Yandy Smith is a music management powerhouse and co-founder/CEO of Everything Girls Love, a lifestyle, Web publishing and fashion brand. With valuable experience collaborating alongside entertainment heavyweight Mona Scott-Young at multimedia conglomerate Violator Management, and later, Monami Entertainment, she has worked with music industry greats including 50 Cent, Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes, LL Cool J, and Jim Jones.