Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Put Down the Glass

June 13, 2021

by Robert Stevenson

I want to discuss one aspect on leadership that I feel gets overlooked far too often; pushing yourself and your employees too far. Years ago, a speaker gave a great example on stress management (the author of the example is unknown). He held up a glass of water and then told the audience…

“Let’s estimate that the weight of this glass of water is one pound. The actual weight of the glass of water isn’t that important. What is important in this example is how long you can hold it. Holding it for a minute is not a problem. Holding it for an hour – now that could cause your arm to ache. But, trying to hold it for a day, would be nearly impossible and damaging to your arm, wrist and hand. In holding a glass of water for a minute, hour or day … the weight of the glass will never change, but as time passes, the longer you hold it, the heavier it will become.”

He then went on to explain that the example is very applicable to stress management. Whether you want to call stress … burdens, responsibilities, or commitments from your job or family … without setting them aside and taking a break, at some point they will become too heavy to carry.

The longer you carry stress without a break, the less effective you will be in everything you do. Your body needs time to recharge, and your mind and mental attitude need some time to decompress so you will feel refreshed. When you are refreshed you are able to carry heavy burdens and take care of lots of responsibilities and commitments, so the critical factor in all of this is … learning how to stay refreshed.

The simple solution to staying refreshed and vibrant is to learn how to PUT DOWN THE GLASS. When you leave the office don’t carry your work home with you … PUT DOWN THE GLASS. When you go on vacation don’t check e-mails or voicemails … have them forwarded to an associate who can handle them … PUT DOWN THE GLASS. If you want to be more effective in everything you do, you have got to PUT DOWN THE GLASS; relax, exercise, or spend some “fun” time with your family.

If you are in management and you want your employees to be more effective, productive, and innovative, make sure you are giving them time to PUT DOWN THEIR GLASS; the glass will surely end up broken if you don’t.

Note: This suggestion applies to everyone. Some organizations think management (leaders) should be on call 24/7 … 365 days per year. Being in management does not make you immune to BURNOUT.


"Your only true security in life
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About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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