8 Emotional Habits That Hold You Back as a Leader

We’ve all heard the ways that emotional intelligence is important to success, but sometimes our emotions can be harmful.

Especially when the situation is tense, leading with emotions is usually not the best option.

Here are some examples of emotional behaviors that are often damaging. If any of these sound familiar, stop and ask yourself what kind of results you’re getting from them, and what you need to change to get where you want to be.

1. Chasing what feels good instead of doing what’s right. 

As the old saying says, what’s right usually isn’t easy, and what’s easy usually isn’t right. Never be ashamed or fearful of doing what’s right, because it brings a much longer-lasting good feeling.

2. Doing what’s convenient instead of being committed.

When you’re committed, you stay the course, but convenience is the enemy of following through. Commitment is staying loyal to what you said you were going to do, even if you’re not in the mood any more. The ultimate convenience is to never do anything, so don’t look for satisfaction in that direction.

3. Basing decisions on what’s popular instead of what’s intuitive.

Our emotions often draw us toward the solution that’s most popular, but you’ll be better served to override that impulse and do what makes sense to you–popular or not. Making decisions is not about popularity but finding something that works, and going against the crowd is the essence of leadership.

4. Allowing your attitude to control you instead of the other way around. 

When you allow anger or apathy or pride to get in the way of the things you set out to do, you do a disservice not only to yourself but also to those around you. The biggest disability you can have is being a person with a bad attitude and allowing it to control you.

5. Waiting for something to happen instead of creating momentum.

Passivity means hunkering down because you can’t bring yourself to trust what will happen next. But when you lead from a place of confidence, you take matters into your own hands and create momentum where there is none. Unwavering incremental change can create remarkable and monumental results.

6. Worrying about what you stand to gain instead of taking responsibility.

Emotion tells us to look after our personal bottom line, but seeking out responsibility is a test of our self-mastery. When you let go of acquisition and exercising your rights, you are free to accept the responsibility that leads to genuine respect.

7. Quit when a problem arises instead of finding solutions.

It’s only natural to want to quit when times get tough–but if you do, you’re allowing your emotions to take over. Character and purpose require that we quiet that inner voice and work to find creative solutions.

8.     Give in to moodiness instead of practicing reliability.

For too many people, instability is born of a fear of seeming boring or predictable. Everything is about how they feel, what they want, and how they are going to get it. But when you have a strong hold on their emotions, you are able to remain steady in all circumstances and challenges–without sacrificing your ability to be spontaneous and fun.

Developing awareness and keeping your emotions in perspective can be a daunting task even in the best of times. But you’ll appreciate having done that inner work when tasks are difficult, when change needs to happen, when challenges are present–and you’re able to step up to the occasion and lead thoughtfully and well.



N A T I O N A L   B E S T S E L L E R


What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.

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