As a leader, there may be no skill more important than emotional self-regulation. I struggled with this for a lot of my career (which of course as a woman, made me extra worried about being a trope). Thread >>
First, a leader’s job is to bring calmness and stability to chaotic situations. For everything you say, you have to ask: Am I making this better right now or making it worse?
You can’t just say everything that crosses your mind. It took me a long time to learn this. I’m a transparent person. But transparency isn’t the same as unfiltered emotion. It’s scary to be on the receiving end of unfiltered emotion from your boss.
Second, a leader’s job is to provide the predictable structure and personal maturity that people need in order to operate successfully. For every issue that comes up, you have to ask: Is this a mountain or is it a molehill? Act accordingly.
Third, a leader’s job is to balance between Job #1 (running the business, making the plan, delivering the plan) and Job #2 (communicating the plan in a way that inspires people). For every decision, you have to ask: How will I do Job #2?
Fourth, a leader’s job is not to be liked. Ouch, this is a hard one. The job is to be clear, consistent, and fair. You need a thick skin. For every decision you make, you have to ask NOT “will people like me for this” but instead: Is it fair?
I read an article by experienced CEO once that said, “If you want to be loved unconditionally, get a dog!” Never forgot it.
Fifth, a leader’s job is to find safe emotional outlets so you can be your best. It’s ok to be excited, disappointed, nervous, fulfilled, mad, and human. Your loved ones, friends, therapist, coach — all great places to process this energy.
Oof, so many of the mistakes I’ve made as a leader come down to emotional self-regulation. It’s also the skill I’ve invested most in over the last couple of years with the greatest impact. If you struggle with this, you CAN emerge out the other side of it stronger. 🌠📈🚀