Be the master of your emotions

Keep Calm

As a leader one of the worst things you can do is to let emotions rule your day. If you “lose your shit” in front of the team, you’ve just lost your team’s respect.

My friend YY. likes to compare it to a sergeant on the battlefield. If the sergeant shows fear or panic, every soldiers under him is going to think: “We are all going to die”.

Coach Wooden has a really good chapter on this in his book “On Leadership”. He explains there that emotions cloud your judgement, causing you to make mistakes. He doesn’t consider it a failure if he made a decision with a cool head and it doesn’t work out. In fact, he encourages you to take risks as long as they are based on cool assessment of the available facts. If, however, you made a decision based on your emotional state and it didn’t work out, then it’s a true error.

Another point he makes in the book is that the ultimate goal of any team should be consistent performance at their peak capacity. ¬†Normally the leaders “pump up” their teams before large events, celebrate the wins and mourn the losses. To coach Wooden, you don’t treat a special event (like a championship game) any different than a normal event (like a practice). You simply give it your best regardless of the situation you are in, every time. If you win, you stay cool, calm and collected. If you lose, you stay cool, calm and collected. Emotions cloud your judgement, leading to mistakes. Don’t let it happen to you and your team.

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