Be A Better Leader, Leverage Feelings

by | Mar 7, 2013


“What you do with what you feel is more important than what you feel.” – Dan Rockwell

Feelings are good and bad.

Good if you understand the reason you have one.

Bad if you let your feelings lead you.

Good if you understand you behave your way into good feelings, you don’t feel your way into good behavior. (I’m blushing, but sure…you can tweet that)

Bad if you ignore them.

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There is always a reason behind the reason. There is always a reason behind a feeling.

A feeling is our sub-conscience telling us something. But what?

  • Anger and frustration signals a blocked goal.
  • Anxiety signals an uncertain goal.
  • Depression signals an impossible goal.

We shouldn’t make decisions based on feelings.

We can however, judge or test our decisions based on our feelings.

If you put your hand on a hot stove top, you don’t leave it there while you apply burn cream or run cold water over it. You remove your hand first. You address the reason behind the burning first.

The same is true in emotional or spiritual feelings.

If you are preparing for a meeting and feel anxious. You shouldn’t go into the meeting with that feeling and simply push through or hope for the best.

Instead, ask yourself, “what’s the uncertain goal here?”

Maybe your are anxious because your goal is to leave the meeting with a raise in pay. Your uncertain how to make that happen. The reason this goal is uncertain is because it’s a desire, not a goal. The final outcome is up to someone else. Go into the meeting with the goal of clearly communicating your desire with confident humility while speaking the truth.


Behavior creates feelings.



  • Don’t ignore your feelings.
  • Seek out the blocked goal. If you, your spouse, your child or someone you lead at work is angry, don’t address the anger…address the why behind the anger. Example, my team at work can get angry when I block their ability to perform their job well by not clearly communicating my expectations. My daughter gets angry when I block her goal of playing with the iPad when I say, “no,”
  • Karin Hurt at letsgrowleaders.com recommends documenting your anger for 2 weeks. An awesome tip to help you look for trends.
  • Write down your goals and think about potential threats to them.
  • ?What other Tips and Suggestions Do You Have?


  • Reflect on the last time you felt angry, anxious and/or depressed. What was the real reason you felt that way?
  • Schedule an in-service with your team at work to talk specifically about “feelings”. When my team and I all feel anxious about a groups arrival, a new project or anything else. We can have a conversation around, “What are we uncertain about? Have we set a goal for this event that is out of alignment with our mission? Have we failed to process this goal through our core values? Do we have a goal that really a desire?”

I’d love to hear your thoughts, please comment below.

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