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Think, Feel and Act Like a Leader

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Here are your latest articles, links, hints and tips on being a better leader.

Think Like a Leader

Discouragement feels like an old-fashioned word, or one with only religious significance. Yet we all know what it is – and have certainly experienced it. Is it because of the pressure to be seen as upbeat, confident and in control? We see our thinking as intellectual, but it is clouded when we are discouraged. That is not to say we are driven by our emotions, but we need to recognise the part emotions can play in our decision making.

Feel Like a Leader

Bad things do happen to good people – a fact of life. So what happens to us or those around us, may not be our fault, but one of the hallmarks of a leader is taking responsibility, which often requires us to try to understand how others may be discouraged – looking to encourage them, sensitively.

Act Like a Leader

Leaders are not expected to look as if they are constantly taking ‘happy pills’ – being authentic and acknowledging your discouragement is part of being a leader. But so is helping people move through it, and managing your own discouragement is another part of leadership.
Episode 151 - Cynthia Zhai - Leaders On Leadership

In this interview Tracey Jones talks with Cynthia Zhia about the price of leadership. Cynthia urges leaders to “develop the quality or the state of equanimity. Equanimity is that whatever storms are happening outside of you, you need to develop that inner solidness and centeredness that will not be affected by whatever is happening.”
Leaders Listen!
22 Powerful ways to Overcome Discouragement by the Leadership Freak, Dan Rockwell.

'Ignore anyone that says they don’t get discouraged. We are bombarded with – be positive, think positive – messages because leaders get discouraged. Sad but true.
  1. Ask someone you respect if they ever feel discouraged.
  2. Accept people for who they are. Trying to change people is futile and frustrating.
  3. When you feel discouraged acknowledge it to yourself. People who never feel discouraged are out of touch with themselves and the world.
  4. Anger frequently grows into discouragement. Let go of anger.
  5. Learn to do something new.
  6. Hold your head up. Good posture helps.
  7. Encourage someone. Your needs reveal what others may need.
  8. Stop trying to control things you can’t control. Let something go.
  9. Exercise.
  10. Persistent ambiguity is discouraging. Establish milestones; seeing progress encourages.
  11. Solve a small challenge or complete a project. Checking something off your list lifts a weight from your shoulders.
  12. Do your best to focus on things you do best. It feels great to do something well.
  13. Feeling alone can be discouraging. Let someone in. Find a friend by being a friend.
  14. Reward yourself or someone else.
  15. Journal.
  16. Reinterpret your setbacks as learning experiences and stepping stones.
  17. Enjoy fresh ideas from a book or lecture.
  18. Do something fun.
  19. If you don’t get some rest you’ll end up discouraged.
  20. The upside of discouragement is it may motivate you to evaluate yourself.
  21. Change a routine.
  22. Drain the drama. Respond objectively.'
Writing a list of things that encourage – encourages me. Maybe #23 is writing a list of things you can do that encourage you.

Where do you find encouragement?

How do you encourage others?

Leaders Read!
Some years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Martin Luther King memorial in Atlanta. Atlanta’s top tourist attraction it is run by the National Park Service and, once visited, will never be forgotten. A man of faith, in this short clip he talks about facing discouragement and how his faith helps him move beyond it. A powerful orator, it is astonishing how listening to him speak these few words can stir your heart.
Leaders Watch!

The Leader's View

Renowned for its peaceful atmosphere, Malleny Gardens in Balerno, on the outskirts of Edinburgh, run by the National Trust for Scotland, is the place to come for quiet contemplation in beautiful surroundings.

The garden is a haven for plant lovers thanks to a large variety of colourful and fragrant flowers and shrubs. Through a decorated wrought-iron gate, the walled garden opens out to the Four Evangelists – huge 400-year-old clipped yew trees. Victorian greenhouses and heritage rose plantings complete the picture of cultivated calm. What lifts your spirits when you are discouraged?


Longer Read

Mastering Adulthood. Go Beyond Adulting to Become an Emotional Grown-Up, written by Lara E. Fielding and published by New Harbinger in 2019. 

How much attention do we actually give to living as mature, responsible adults? There is something sad about those who retain childhood emotions and behaviour yet really should be grown-ups. That, of course, is very different from having a youthful outlook – that might be beneficial at any age.

But in this book, Psychologist Lara E. Fielding offers a map of the path to adulthood and teaches readers how to gain new skills that can ease disquieting or stressful feelings. People often develop habits to make life easier and then forget why they adopted them in the first place.

Here are some of her key messages:
  • Becoming an adult is a challenge that calls on your ability to cope flexibly with change.
  • People tend to under-regulate when they feel anxiety, panic and despondency, and to over-regulate when they lack motivation.
  • How you think, feel and behave contributes to your personality.
  • Determine the costs of your habits by assessing whether you over-regulate or under-regulate.
  • Use the metaphor of a car to assess your emotions. You might be carrying “passengers” – that is, the effects of past events superimposed on the present.
  • Try to determine if you use emotional habits to conceal awareness of your passengers.

This Week's Blog

Designed for Play #91

Latest Blog

...and finally

...without a little reflection, there is no Insight Added.
"Feeling discouraged does not mean you quit. Feeling sad does not mean joy is non-existent. Feeling lonely does not mean you are alone. Feeling anxious does not mean you are in danger. Feeling loss does not mean you have nothing. Feeling angry does not mean you lose control. Feeling sorry does not mean you are at fault. What you feel is not necessarily what is."
 Richelle E. Goodrich
Lead well
Graham and Lesley
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