Leadership – Emotions

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In Leadership – Emotions are to be expected. The difference for leadership is that emotion may be more prone to anxiety from the weight of responsibility to those we lead as Peter Bregman points out beautifully.

. . . leadership is, as much as anything, an emotional adventure.

If you want to be a powerful leader, you have to become familiar with the sweat-inducing, anxiety-producing, adrenaline-generating emotions of being lost while people are following you. Because that is, as often as not, the emotion of leadership.

One of the defining characteristics of strong leaders is their ability to endure uncertainty and ambiguity. They are willing to move through shame and embarrassment and anxiety and fear. Those are the feelings of leadership as much as courage and persistence and faith. In fact, it’s because those feelings are ever-present that we need courage and persistence and faith.

It takes tremendous confidence to lead. Not the confidence of having all the answers — that’s arrogance — but the confidence to move forward even without the answers. You have to be capable of feeling awkward and uncertain without giving up. You have to believe that you and your team have what it takes to see yourselves through — or, if need be, to pick yourselves up and start again.

Here’s what not to do: pretend you’re in control. Because that erodes trust, increases your shame, and robs those around you of the opportunity to step in, learn, and help….More at The Emotional Adventure of Leadership – Peter Bregman – Harvard

What Bregman is getting at is the emotional intelligence needed to leader others. Leadership requires awareness of emotions in yourself and others. It needs to allow for effective communication to convey a forward focus while also addressing any elephants in the room effectively, mindfully, and openly.

The emotional response of the leaders can guide the emotional response within the business and its people. Leadership’s emotions are the scene setter. What scene have you set?

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