Blog Post Title: Leadership Health and Integrity Part 2

I learned the necessity of emotional intelligence like a child learning to walk. There was lots of hand-holding, many more tremendous crashes (often public),  and more than a few bumps and bruises. 

The Leader’s Guide to Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence is like playing the piano. The greater the range, the greater the player.

As a pianist, my musical accomplishment is limited to chopsticks. On a good day, I might be able to find middle C.

For my wife, after some tinkering, she can learn to play fairly complex songs. She can tune her guitar, sing along as she plays, and is good enough to teach our children.

A world-class pianist can play amazing complex songs. The piano seems to come alive in their hands. Every technique is mastered. Each hammering of the kBlog Post Title: Leadership Health and Integrity Part 2eys is intentional. Everything ringing with a divine sound. 

Emotional Intelligence works the same way. Emotionally immature people have a very limited range of keys to play from. Usually, they are the basic emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, and fear. A situation arises, and their keystrokes are limited. Everything triggers them to respond in simplistic ways. 

I knew a man like this once. Though physically mature, the emotional range was limited. Within a split-second, he could go from happiness to anger. Worse than that (as someone who claimed to be a leader), there was little desire to change.

“I’m just this way. I’ve always been this way, I’ll always be this way. “

This limiting belief and limited emotional capacity will limit his leadership capacity.

Expanding The Emotional Range

Expanding emotional range happens with practice. Like each new key on the keyboard that a pianist can play, emotional range equips the leader for more situations.

Think of a strong emotion like anger. Those with limited emotional capacity experience lots of anger. The lack of self-awareness leads to them repeatedly pounding the same key over and over again.

They get cut off in traffic and are angry.

The restaurant takes too long to cook their food and they are angry.

Their child leaves their shoes in the middle of the floor and they are angry.

They are passed over for a promotion and are angry.

Their favorite team loses in the championship game and they are angry.

Bothered by the amount of trash in the local park, they are angry.

Like a new piano player, they keep hitting the same note. Always angry, always looking for a reason to explode, always at the ready to let everyone know how they feel.

In contrast to this, there are ranges of anger: annoyance, frustration, furious, exasperated, and bitter are a few examples. Each is a different key to more adequately express the current emotion.

Do your child’s shoes in the middle of the floor really make you angry or are you annoyed because you tripped over them?

Does the missed promotion make you exasperated because you worked hard and thought you earned it?

The more keys that are available to us as leaders, the better we can navigate the situations around us.

Continual Growth

The thing about leadership is that it is never a finished journey. New experiences and new insights lead to new emotional experiences.

This means new words.

New emotional keys we get to play.

And our viewpoint determines our destination.

Are these obstacles, or opportunities?

Join us next week as we continue our look at the seven areas of leadership health.

 

Looking to grow your Emotional Intelligence? Take the Test.

LeaderQuest Podcast – Episode 10

We all have 24 hours in a day, so why is it that some people seem to get more done in the same amount (or less!) time?

They are clear about where they are going. They know their purpose, they know their destination, they know how to get the most out of each and every day.

If you’re looking for similar time-saving strategies and techniques, this episode of the LeaderQuest Podcast is for you! The LeaderQuest Podcast – Episode 10 is going to give you three time saving “how-to” techniques to maximize your day.

This week, we’re talking “Time Saving Strategies” so that you can eliminate distraction, gain clarity, and reach your goals in less time.

Take It Further

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The Final Destination

When we left Denver for our California move, it was Valentine’s Day 2017. My wife boarded a plane with our four kids (and my mom) with a one-way ticket to Los Angeles.

Most of our items were onboard a semi-truck moving company and in transit already. After I dropped them off at the airport, I took our minivan loaded with only essential family possessions and my camping gear and headed west. With a full tank of gas and a queue of podcasts and audiobooks, I plugged my ending destination into the GPS system on my phone and took off.

Fourteen hours later I had made it. I was halfway through the trip, and after a quick one night stay at a campground, woke up early the next morning to finish the trip.

At regular intervals, I would stop, fill up the gas tank, grab some food, stretch my legs, and start a new audiobook.

Even when I stopped, got rerouted because of road work, or got stuck in traffic, my end destination stayed the same.

I had a clear goal and objective in mind: reuniting with my family.

Everybody ends up somewhere. A few people end up somewhere on purpose. Those are the ones with vision. – Andy Stanley

Somewhere on Purpose

Life works the same way. So does business. Family. Hobbies. Income. Education.

You are going to end up somewhere. The only question is if it is where you wanted to be.

To get where you want to be, you have to have a vision. Practice Intentionality. Cultivate solid habits. Engage in Discipline.

To get where you want to go, you have to be clear in where it is you want to end up. 

If I had simply entered “California” or “West” into my GPS, there is a strong likelihood that I wouldn’t have ended up next to my family.

In life, if your only goal is to end up “not here,” then you probably won’t. But that also doesn’t mean the destination is any better.

Like a good GPS system with a final address, our life needs to have a clear end destination in mind. A clear goal to reach. An objective measure that we have arrived.

As a success and mindset coach, that’s much of how I work with my clients on a daily basis.

But success doesn’t have to mean financial. Maybe it means that it’s having just enough to be able to take trips with the grandkids. Success for some might mean living long enough to see a family member take over the family business. For another, it could be to lose weight and run their first 10k.

Success for one former client was to start her own business and never work for someone else again. 

For another, it was to build a speaking platform and tour the country providing health lectures. 

Ending up somewhere on purpose doesn’t happen by accident.

So, if you’re ready to end up somewhere on purpose, here are five tips to help you get started.

5 Tips to End up Somewhere on Purpose:

1.) Create a list of the non-negotiable elements of your life. Key relationships, experiences, and mindsets are always foundational.

2.) Visualize your success. Create a vision board, write it down in your journal, practice intentional meditation. Whatever it is that works for you, spend time actually thinking about and picturing yourself in that future state.

3.) Practice daily habits of success. Exercise, read a book, laugh, drink plenty of water. Create a sustainable rhythm to life that breeds success. (If you want help on this point, sign up for my high-performance newsletter and receive my best tools and tips directly in your inbox every Friday).

4.) Share your vision with someone you love. Life is best traveled with someone you love. A spouse, friend, mentor, or coach can encourage you during the downtime and help you push through the tough moments.

5.) Stay the course. It won’t happen overnight. Real Talk: It may not even happen in a thousand nights. But if you are faithful, day in and day out over the course of a lifetime, it will.


What stood out to you? Leave a comment below!

In An Instant

I’ve lost track on the number of conversations I’ve had recently about how quickly time seems to be moving.

I joked about it on the podcast.

I’ve spoken with clients who felt like the 4th of July was only two weeks ago.

Our oldest turned ten this year.

I’ve been out of high school fifteen years already, and college more than ten.

The number of people who have told me, “The days are long but the years are short” are only half right.

What do you do when even the days are short?

The Power of Journaling During Change

In my doctoral program, I was introduced to a way of “checking-in” emotionally during a changing season. It gave space to everyone in the room to acknowledge, own, and share their feelings in a safe environment.

Over the years, I’ve also used it with my clients and with myself during seasons of change. It’s a quick focusing technique that can empower us and it’s a great place to start journaling.

Journaling may be a new idea or discipline for you, and it can feel tough to get started.

If so, here is the technique for you to use that won’t eat up a bunch of your short days, but give you immediate power.

Plus, as you continue in this discipline and the journaling and writing process comes more easily to you, it becomes easier to expand on these ideas and create that daily journal to reflect on.

The power of journaling during change is that it gives us memories to look back on. To see how we’ve grown. To see what we’ve overcome. To see the victories.

The power of journaling during change is that it gives us the power to own our narrative. Experience healing. Embrace transformation. To remember that every day is a season of change. That no matter what you’re going through, “You got this.”

How To Start A Daily Journaling Habit

The easiest way to start a daily journaling habit is to remember the acronym S.A.S.H.E.T.

S – Sad

A – Angry

S – Scared

H – Happy

E – Excited

T – Tender

At the end of your day, journal your emotional state using these words. Maybe you experienced all of them in a day. Maybe only one or two. There is no “right answer” only what is true for you now.

As time unfolds you’ll also begin to expand on these. Like the keys on a piano, being able to identify more emotions will expand your “playing range.”

Great pianists can play the full range of the keyboard. Similarly, people in tune with their emotions will be able to feel, experience, navigate and lead from a wider range of emotional states.

A simple journal entry could look like this.

Today, I’m checking in with myself. One thing that made me scared today was when I was running late for work. I thought it would make me look bad to my boss and fellow employees. 

I was angry when I got home from work and saw that my kids hadn’t done their chores as I had asked.

I am excited about our upcoming family vacation. I really need that time to relax.

I am feeling tender at the moment for my oldest. His birthday is coming up soon. I see the man he is becoming and it makes want to parent more intentionally.

Consistent journaling will serve us well in a couple of areas

1.) It gives us the power to own our day. By owning our emotions we can then own our actions and work to get better.

2.) It expands our emotional keys. By consistently checking in, we may soon discover that these words are not enough. Soon enough, something will happen where you won’t merely be ‘happy’ but ‘elated.’

3.) It allows us to reflect. The best time to plant an oak tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. The same is true of personal growth, writing that book you’ve always wanted, and growing your emotional intelligence. The best time to start journaling was twenty years ago. The second best time is now. Soon enough, you’ll be able to look back at last week, last month, and the last several years to see where you were, what you’ve overcome, and how you’re growing.

4.) It allows us to shape our future. If we can see where we’ve been and know where we are now, we can better navigate our future. We notice trends, can see recurring patterns, and break out of destructive habits, relationships, or no longer important goals.

Do you journal? What have you learned about yourself? Leave a comment below!

The power of journaling during change is part of our week-long look at how to navigate the “changing seasons” of our lives. To receive exclusive access to all of the content, get an easy to read recap of the topic, and receive my free five-day course on productivity, joinmy community newsletter.

LeaderQuest Podcast – Episode 5

This week, Elise and I talk about the importance of goal setting. Without goals, we drift aimlessly through life. 

Instead, learn how to set attainable goals, live with clarity, and reach your ultimate version of success.

Looking for more? Join the weekly discussions that happen on all platforms. We pick one topic and spend a week diving into that topic so you can apply what you’re learning.

Start by reading the blog post.

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Thanks for listening to the LeaderQuest Podcast – Episode 5 on Goals.