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The Emotional Side of Leadership

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Title: The Emotional Side of Leadership


1
The Emotional Side of Leadership
  • Rick Ginsberg, Ph.D.
  • University of Kansas

2
Being Boss Is Hard!
  • I think this is the most miserable part of being
    the managing director of a growing company. One
    by one I had to replace our earliest
    supporters.It is a process which is inevitable
    in a growing business and which takes much of the
    fun out of it, so that after a few years of
    sacking ones old friends one grows to feel that
    success may not be such a good thing after all,
    that possibly there may be other, less sorry ways
    of earning a living in this world. When success
    ultimately came to Airspeed, I was ready to leave
    the company, having come to the conclusion that I
    didnt much like my job.
  • Nevil Shute, Slide Rule

3
A Bad Night
  • I cant believe it. Another Sunday night and I
    cant fall asleep. I must have been tossing and
    turning for five hours. How many stupid sheep do
    I have to count! Lets see, if I fall asleep now
    I can get in three hours before rushing to my
    first meeting. Darn, I hate nights like this.
    Its just that horrible meeting I had with the
    staff last week. Everyone left so angry at me.
    Geez, I should have gone along with the boss
    suggestion and selectively fired peoplethen they
    would really have gone ballistic. No, I went out
    of my way to protect everyone. What am I going
    to do? Ive got to get some sleep.

4
Were Just Regular People
  • The leader is just another individual.They put
    their pants on just like the rest of us do. They
    have both good and bad traits. From time to
    time, when things are going badly, their old
    character traits slip through and they become
    irritable, angry, irrational and capricious.
    They behave in immature ways. They exhibit
    traits that amaze us and we say, I always
    thought of him/her as a leader! Whats going on?
    They disappoint us.
  • From Richard C. Maddock and Richard L. Fulton,
    Motivation, Emotions, and Leadership

5
The Sleep Test Revisited
  • responsible people sometimes lie awake at night
    precisely because they have done the right thing
    (authors emphasis). They understand that their
    decisions have real consequences, that success is
    not guaranteed, and that they will be held
    accountable for their decisions. They also
    understand that acting honorably and decently
    can, in some circumstances, complicate or damage
    a persons career. In short, if people like
    Hitler sometimes sleep well and if people like
    Mother Teresa sometimes sleep badly, we can place
    little faith in simple sleep-test ethics
  • Joseph Badarocco, from Defining Moments When
    Managers Must Choose between Right and Right

6
The Unforeseen Reaction
  • From Steve Brown Sent Friday, July 25, 2008
  • To Ginsberg, Rick Subject Radio program
  • Mr. Ginsberg,
  • Hearing you on the radio this morning it became
    clear to me why our education system is in such a
    mess.
  • With idiots like you running the school of
    education at one of our major universities one
    can understand why our
  • young peoples minds have been lost.
  • Not only the minds of young college students but
    also the minds of the children they are then sent
    out to guide
  • armed with the corrupt waste of money you have
    brain washed them with.
  • I laughed when you went on your spiel of why only
    teachers should be teachers. What a joke!
    Trying to
  • compare it to the careers of professionals who
    make life and death decisions everyday. I have
    never taken an
  • education class or taught a day of school in my
    life, but am sure I could give a classroom full
    of young minds a
  • lot more in one day toward the rest of their
    lives than you the esteemed and honorable dean
    of education at
  • the University of Kansas could give them. Im
    sure you would spend your day bashing
    conservatives and
  • painting an evil picture of this country.

7
The Simple Test Question
8
The Square Game
9
The Agony of Decision Making
  • As anyone who has lived in the southeast United
    States knows, hurricanes are circular structures
    around an eerily calm eye. As a hurricane passes
    through, we experience the storm, then the calm,
    and then the storm again. I write this account
    from the eye of the hurricane.
  • - a President of a Community College

10
The Human Toll
  • You know, as much as I hated making cuts and
    dismissing people who were good at what they did,
    I got a weird sense of satisfaction and pleasure
    watching my boss face as he let me go. He was
    squirming in his chair as much as I used to when
    performing the same task. We both agreed that the
    company culture had changed, and he shared that
    letting me go was the most excruciating task he
    had ever undertaken. I absolutely knew what he
    was feeling.
  • A Business Executive

11
Human Toll, 2
  • For me, I was in a state of higher anxiety. I
    knew I had started a process that was now beyond
    my power to stop. I bore the responsibility but
    none of the control. I took long walks at night
    to try to unwind and sleep. I couldnt confide
    in anyone on campus, and I was too new to the
    state to have established a support network among
    the other community college presidents. I
    remember being gripped by my own fears for
    faculty who would have to be released, for their
    families, for the colleges community image, and
    in all honesty, for my own professional position.
    Could I, would I be made the scapegoat for this
    problem?
  • A Community College President

12
Showing the Right Face
  • There is no question that I felt great grief
    during this situation, but a president must find
    private time for these emotionsin this
    situation, one must steel oneself, because you
    must act on behalf of others, making sure of
    their well being and safety. You cannot do this
    if you abdicate your leadership by indulging your
    emotions. If and when you decide to fall apart,
    you must do it someplace else, and later on.
    People need to know that whoever the leader is,
    he or she is operating from a position of
    strength. When they lose that confidence, where
    can they turn? So I think the leader must be
    steadfast, must be strong.
  • A Business Executive

13
Extra Grace Required
  • I work really hard to make Ed happy. I give him
    what he wants, am always fair and cordial even
    when he is nasty and passive aggressive nothing
    seems to make a difference. He still undermines
    me at every turn. I cant please him I cant
    control him and I am at wits-end trying to
    figure out what to do next. It literally is
    driving me crazy. I know it bothers me more than
    it should. All too often I find myself playing
    back our interactions. I keep wondering if I
    should have said something differently. I just
    dont get it. If I ever say anything about him
    to anyone else they look at me like Im crazy.
    Ed, you must just misunderstand him. Hes a
    great guy. But hes not. Hes a jerk, he
    doesnt treat people very nicely whom he sees as
    his inferiors, and hes a drain on me and the
    department. Everyone else is clueless about how
    this guy acts and how destructive he is being. I
    just cant seem to let it go.
  • A University Administrator

14
Coping
  • Youve got to have a thick skin.
  • a small business owner

15
Coping Three Themes
  • Order Out of Chaos
  • Learning personal growth even from intense
    emotional struggles
  • 2. Communication and Strategizing as Keys
  • Be as open as possible
  • 3. Follow Your Heart
  • Do whats right

16
Planning For An Emotional Future
  • I cant go through anything like this again.
    Ive got to figure out a better way to deal with
    these gut-wrenching situations
  • A University Administrator
  • Emotions are important. They are relevant to our
    everyday lives They are not merely vestiges of
    our evolutionary past, like our wisdom teeth or
    appendix. Nonetheless, for all the importance of
    emotions, they receive so little attention in our
    formal education that we are woefully inadequate
    when it comes to understanding or dealing with
    them.
  • David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey, The
    Emotionally Intelligent Manager

17
Emotional Planning
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Emotional Competence
  • Emotional Awareness
  • Emotional Blueprint

18
Lessons Learned
  • Accept That Leadership Involves Emotional
    Experiences
  • Be Prepared!!
  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Become Emotionally Sensitive to Others
  • Be Aware of Emotional Potholes
  • Be Willing to Change

19
Lessons Learned, II
  • Own Your Expressions
  • Dont Panic
  • Be Persistent
  • Become Emotionally Aware
  • Learn to Regulate Your Emotions
  • Develop Your Emotional Plan
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