A Short Checklist for Emotionally Strong Leaders

I arrived early to my appointment for Executive Leadership Coaching with one of my outstanding clients. When I arrived, my coaching client asked if I’d be willing to do a “walking” coaching session since it was a pleasant fall day and I was wearing comfortable shoes. I exclaimed, “Absolutely!”

It was interesting how fluid the conversation flowed as we walked and talked. Some of the natural stress seemed to dissipate and our shared thoughts rose with a synergistic energy.

If you and I are to remain emotionally strong, we must learn to manage and lead our emotions. 

Here is my short checklist for emotionally strong leaders:
1. Learn the power of exercise to manage the stress hormone cortisol. 

  • Power walks and cardio training
  • Stretching and core work
  • Strength and conditioning

2. Limit sugar and start your day with “live” foods.

  • Try eating a small serving of fresh fruit like berries, pineapple, banana, apple slices, watermelon, and cantaloupe
  • Throughout your day, limit sugar as it can wreck havoc on your immune system and cause mood swings

3. Don’t waste time taking refuge in self-pity.

  • Do not RSVP to pity parties
  • Setbacks are a part of life, learn to bounce back quickly
  • Fill your mind with positive “can do” self-talk

4. Learn the power of distance and limit exposure to emotionally draining people.

  • Avoid the “Life sucks,” “That’s not fair,” “You should challenge them,” “That’s not my job,” “Can you believe that person.” comments

When I hear these kinds of statements, it sends a warning, “Limit your exposure, Steve.” Life is about going upstream, and you can’t go upstream if you have negative influencers filling your mind with self pity and victim speak.

5. Fill your cup.
As I write these words, I’m listening to inspiring music. Within arms reach is a book of inspiring literature as well. I’ve learned if I’m going to manage and lead strong, healthy emotions then I need to “fill my emotional cup” every day!

I know this checklist may seem simple, but I’ve found some of the simple things in life are hard to do consistently.

  • Learn the power of exercise
  • Limit sugar
  • Don’t take refuge in self-pity
  • Limit exposure to emotionally draining people
  • Fill your cup daily

Let’s get emotionally strong for our families, friends, team members, and clients. They will be more attracted to our healthy emotions over anything!

Here’s to your emotional strength!

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.