Tips That Can Help
Here are a few ideas that may help you be a better leader:
- Don’t Justify. First you need to recognize the emotions you are experiencing so that they are not mistaken for justifications or valid reasoning in your decision-making. Some days it may be obvious to you (and everyone else) that you are reacting to emotion and making poor decisions. Other days, your emotions may seem perfectly valid and not “emotional” at all. Taking an honest assessment of your thoughts is critical.
- Channel Your Emotion. Once you become aware of these behaviors, make sure the emotion driving them has somewhere healthy to go. Before the day gets started and decisions get tough, develop your own version of a “deep breath” even if it means keeping a punching bag handy in your office (but close the blinds first, please). You can also take five minutes to write down your feelings, meditate, stretch, do yoga, squeeze a stress ball—you know what’s best for you—but find something and have a plan ready in advance. Coping with your emotions is a daily part of the entrepreneurial battle. Sometimes, the day-to-day can get overwhelming and you’ve got to find a way to manage it every day.
- Be Accountable. You need to be accountable. This may be the hardest part, but you can’t change your perspective without taking responsibility. Start with having someone hold you accountable. Have an advisor who sees you in action “score” you on a scale of one to ten. Have them keep track of how many times you flew off the handle, yelled or swore. Forget about why— just keep track. (Remember, you always feel these are justified.) Check in biweekly and rescore yourself. Create a fine for yourself—every time you react the wrong way, put five dollars in a jar. You’ll find that when your behavior is actually being measured objectively by you and others, you will monitor yourself with more discipline. You’ll also be less likely to justify emotional reactions as part of dealing with “the nature of the beast.”
Take note of your current behavior, reactiveness, and impact on those around you. As you improve your self-awareness and control, the benefits will be obvious.