Leaders should control their emotions YES or NO?

leaders should control their emotions_3

I would say NO as a first thought!

Why?!…based in values I believe being key for a leader like transparency, honesty, authenticity. But if we think from  the other side of the story… what type of emotions do we expect from a leader that we really want to follow…not someone who has anger issues, or overwhelmed celebrations…

So I believe that a leader should find a balance that could feel good about it, but respect the environment and the people.

I had an experience in my first job as a Team shift leader in a manufacturing place, and my boss was the production manager. When I started in the first week, what I was listening from people from all different levels, he was a great person, I could count with his back, but he had a lot of personality, and they were advising me not to upset him… and as very junior and an enthusiastic, I thought it was a great quality! I only listened the part he was a great person.

The fact was that he was actually a great person, all his intentions were very positive, but there was no filter from the top to the operations team. So all the constraints, were delegated to us with all his heart, but in a way that we couldn’t understand if those announcements, with some cursing in the middle… were putting in risk our job security.

When I was meeting with him I was afraid, and I started to act in fear mode, and passing along my team the same feeling. I remember once we did very well, and we went all celebrate with a good dinner. The speech from my boss was amazing very encouraging words, but it wasn’t perceived as positive anymore, there were already an expectation of the “yes…but…”.

More recent I had a completely different experience, my boss’s boss, who is an introvert, and a very senior person with a long time of experience leading big organizations. I use to call him as a company man because he knows all the politics behind a corporate environment, and he always have a justification for everything.

But, I don’t have him as a leader to follow, the lack of passion and enthusiasm is a big issue to me.  I can’t build the trust in the people who don’t demonstrate the passion for what they are doing…like Simon Sinek’s book, Starting with WHY, a leader knows their WHY.

After these 2 examples, I would say the emotions from leaders need to exist, giving the confidence of their legacy, be close to people, to be engaging. I believe the emotions, both negative and positive need to exist as true leader has the courage to show their vulnerability. Now the emotions should vary in terms of intensity and type. It depends of the environment, and the people involved. I also believe that an experienced leader demonstrate their emotions in the right tone, and in the right time naturally, as should be developing this skill along the time.

I believe the women are much more open to express their feelings than the men in a closed environment, means with their smaller teams, and in 1:1. In bigger audiences like town halls, or bigger events, I feel the women tend to save for themselves the emotions being afraid of criticism, and men are more comfortable.

There is an article that is worth to read it, quoting the last setence:

” pick your spots to let loose a little. Let your emotions out. Let people in. Both are critical to effective leadership.”

https://hbr.org/2013/08/good-leaders-get-emotional

 

 

 

 

 

 

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