Successful leadership requires a variety of different skills and talents – such as clear thinking, calm under pressure, decisiveness and confidence – and the ability to cultivate these skills can drive your business forward with you at the helm. But being a leader can be one of the most stressful and demanding jobs out there.

Maintaining calmness and confidence in stressful situations can be one of the most challenging parts of the job and a great leader shows resilience and strength during pressured and difficult times. As CEO, you are the one people turn to when things don’t go to plan, and being able to stay calm and encourage and motivate yourself and your team can be the test of any leader.

Here are three practical tips for keeping your cool during stressful situations that you can build into your leadership strategy.

Plan ahead

The ability to plan ahead and think about the future is an essential skill in leadership. But as well as thinking about the growth of the business, take some time to think about yourself as well. By taking the time to think about how to handle and prepare for stressful situations you can give yourself a head start when things are tough in the business. Planning ahead for stressful situations and having strategies in place already allows you to face challenges head on when they arise.

Accept your limitations

As a leader, you will be used to taking on lots of different roles and doing a huge variety of tasks that are involved in steering a business in the right direction. Leaders are often perfectionists and visionaries, yet this can cause many leaders to put too much pressure on themselves. By accepting that certain things are out of your control you can give yourself a break and stop situations that are out of your hands from causing you unnecessary stress. Focus on what you can do and what you can change rather that what you wish you could. The sooner you accept that you are human and there are only 24 hours in a day, the easier it is to let go of stress about things you can’t control.

Recognise your successes

In a fast-paced and rapidly changing business environment, it can be easy to simply go from one challenge to the next without taking time to reflect on what you have achieved. You may have handled a stressful situation brilliantly, or you may have thought of a new growth strategy that will make a huge difference to your bottom line. Learn to recognise your achievements and congratulate yourself on how you dealt with stressful situations in a private and reflective way so you can build what you learned into your day-to-day leadership.