How to Turn Frustration into Positive Direction

Frustration is unrealized potential.

Frustration drives ineffective leaders backward, inward, and downward.


Backward facing frustration reacts against an unsatisfying past.

  1. Top leaders disappointed.
  2. Results fell short.
  3. Teammates hung you out to dry.
  4. Progress stalled.

Successful leaders transform frustration into positive direction.


Energy feels negative when frustration stimulates complaining, blaming, and more frustration. But, in reality, energy is ambivalent. It just wants to do something. Wise leaders channel energy toward useful behaviors, rather than destructive.

You see where you want to go, when you admit that you don’t like where you are.

Dark emotions reveal the light. The darker you are on the inside the higher your potential.

The way you channel energy makes it useful or destructive.


Invite it. Have dinner with frustration. Dig in. Don’t bury it. What you don’t want points to what you want.

Stop it. Don’t focus on past behaviors, results, or patterns. The past is a platform not a destination.

Own it. Blaming others for your frustration is a cowards excuse to stay the same. Your frustrations are yours.

Ask it. The forward facing question that transforms frustration into positive direction is what do I want. Frustrated people forget what they want. The leadership tipping point happens when you find, own, and act on what you want?

Name it. It takes courage to say what you want, when you’re mad.  Vulnerability, or lack thereof, determines where your energy takes you.

Do it. Misguided frustration comes out in demands, pressuring, and coercion. But, its not about them. It’s about you. Stop waiting for others. Take action. Those around you push back when you push them. Push yourself.

How does the dark-side destroy leaders?

How can leaders top into the dark-side?