Emotionally Strong Leaders Increase Their Emotional Intelligence
Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his first 27 years of prison in an eight-by-ten cell. He was freed from prison in 1990 and negotiated an end of apartheid in South Africa. He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.
One of my favorite quotes from Mandela is, “There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
Have you noticed how easy it is to “play small,” overreact emotionally, jump to judgement, and lead from a place of emotionally small thoughts and actions?
Here are seven ways emotionally strong leaders increase their emotional intelligence:
1. They proactively build emotional reserves.
Think of your emotions as a battery. I often joke to audiences, “We take better care of our smart phone than we do ourselves!” Do you?
- We always charge our phones
- We plug them in when the battery indicates “low battery”
Coaching Reminder: Change your emotional batteries daily. be proactive.
2. Don’t rehash the past.
Pity parties only lead to blame, regret, and shame. I’ve learned I can’t be a UHP (ultra high performer) and live in the past. I’ve got to keep pressing forward and stay strong with my emotions.
3. Don’t let others pull you down or backwards.
Emotionally strong leaders honor their relationships while also guarding others, controlling their destiny, purpose, and stretch goals.
4. Stop pulling energy towards the “worst case.”
Emotionally strong leaders don’t waste precious energy on building failure scripts, they pour energy into factors they can control.
5. They don’t get too high or low.
Celebrate victories and breakthroughs for 24-hours. Grieve losses and failures for 24-hours. The key takeaway here is to move on, stay stable, and keep your emotions in check to model consistency and leadership to others.
6. Learn to self-lead.
- Lead your self talk by being more upbeat
- Lead your daily habits by being healthier
- Lead your emotions by thinking positive
7. Build your comeback story
I remember a time I was sitting in an empty parking lot several years ago, I was depressed and crying over a series of dead-end attempts and failings. There was a yellow pad in the backseat of my car that I grabbed and starting out my “comeback story.” This story included:
- A thriving leadership company
- A bestselling book
- A national or international speaking career
- A coaching practice with the “best of the best”
Never underestimate your comeback story!
Here’s to your emotional intelligence for extraordinary leadership!
As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.
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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”
About the Author
Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.
A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.