Radically Change Your Leadership, Today


The way you make people feel may be the most important thing about your leadership. It’s frequently the most neglected.

Relentlessly looking ahead to noble destinations is never enough. Efficient systems don’t work apart from people. Values must find expression in behaviors.

Feelings follow us everywhere. What emotional states do you create in others?

Positive emotion:

  1. Optimistic.
  2. Competent.
  3. Confident.
  4. Connected.
  5. Courageous.
  6. Trusted.
  7. Valued.

Negative emotion:

  1. Neglected.
  2. Belittled.
  3. Discouraged.
  4. Fearful.
  5. Angry.
  6. Alone.
  7. Confused.

Choose emotional states:

If you could help the people around you feel something, what would it be? It depends on the individual. Some need to feel connected, others competent. Still others need to feel informed.

List the names of your key players on a piece of paper and write the emotional state you plan to nurture beside their names. Choose just one state for each.

Choose behaviors:

What behaviors and attitudes can you adopt that bring out positive emotional states in those on your list? How will you creating environments that help people feel connected, valued, or competent?


  • Mary – Informed – Invite Mary in for a short conversation regarding your plans for a strategic initiative. Be aware that she will, most likely, share your conversation with others.
  • Bob – Competent – Explain how one of his specific strengths will take him far. Highlight something he recently learned.
  • Fred – Courageous – Ask Fred what he learned from his last mistake without offering corrections. Tell him, “That’s great Fred. I know we’ll be better next time.”

Leadership radically changes when you value emotional states. 

What positive emotional states do you find most important?

How can you create environments that bring out the emotional states most helpful to the people on your team?

Challenge question: What roles might creating negative emotional states play in your leadership?