How do you overcome performance anxiety?

Our structure puts the General Manager at the top of a pyramid with a Board of Directors assessing how well he manages things and adheres to the obligations of his role. They determine if he’s succeeding or failing, and are responsible for replacing him. Last week he gave his notice and will be gone in *two weeks*. It’s got everyone panicked, from his direct reports to the 20+ other managers in the business, and a number of the other staff in non-management roles.

I report directly to him as a Director of my own segment of the business. Operations – basically running the facilities, supplies, technology, receiving, pricing, and cleaning. I don’t do HR, finance, or sales. I have three managers that report to me directly, and a total of 16 people under me. It’s a good gig and it keeps me very busy.

I love the place I’m working and believe in the mission without needing to drink corporate kool-aid. It’s a genuinely good place to work and isn’t geared towards “wealth extraction” as much as it is about creating a stronger local ecosystem and working to support the community. We don’t rake in cash to hand to the person at the top or some wealthy family. It goes back into the town, suppliers, and employees. We are a for-profit business, but not *anything for profit* if you get the drift.

The General Manager role is very ‘political’ – people oriented, public facing, and business expansion oriented. The GM provides “vision” and development. Direction and guidance. There are guard rails to prevent someone from destroying the business outright, but the influence is there to make big changes and impact hundreds of lives directly.

I’m nearly done with a Leadership degree program and get the foundational skills needed for that role, but the scope of them is quite daunting. I’ve seen his calendar, watched him attend board meetings for over a year, read his meeting minutes, and know how much time he spends with people inside and outside the organization. I’ve never done anything like that.

But it’s the career track I want. That’s why I’m putting my name into the hat for his job.

My biggest issue right now is the feeling of anxiety I feel every time I start thinking too long about all of the drastic shifts I’ll need to make to my work life. It’s *a lot*. It’s also very much *do or die* \- if I get hired but don’t succeed, my old job will have been backfilled and I’ll need to move on.

If you’ve ever made this kind of leap, how did you cope with that feeling?

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