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10 Ways to be Angry Like a Leader

Leaders who suppress anger live with the ponderous weight of things unsaid.

Embrace the power of letting yourself be angry.


Anger isn’t the main issue, expression is. 

Spontaneous expressions of anger like mouthing off or blowing up elevate heat and make matters worse. “I need to get something off my chest,” often expresses selfish-immaturity.

Use anger. Don’t simply express it.

3 negative consequences of ignoring anger:

  1. Energy eventually goes down.
  2. Relationships grow distant.
  3. Mediocrity seeps in.

The idea that anger is bad eliminates an important source of energy in every leader’s life.

10 ways to be angry like a leader:

You don’t need to get something off your chest. You need to learn how to:

  1. Get some rest. A short fuse gets shorter when you’re fatigued.
  2. Reflect, rather than withdraw. Understand your values and priorities.
  3. Deal with issues quickly, rather than putting them off. Frustration is an invitation to constructive action. It’s time to act if the issue still bugs you after twenty-four hours.
  4. Talk things over with someone who doesn’t have a dog in the fight.
  5. Clarify what matters and address tough issues. The heat and smoke of anger typically focus on surface issues. You don’t need to say, “I’m angry.” You need to say, “This matters.”
  6. Develop a plan with goals and behaviors.
  7. Open your mouth to make things better. Venting, like a two year old, seldom makes things better. The only time to open your mouth is to make something better.
  8. Dig into issues that trouble you. Perhaps you don’t know the whole story. It’s tragic to be misinformed and angry.
  9. Connect with people who share your vision. It’s frustrating to be on a team where everyone pulls in a different direction.
  10. Stay on course. Anger, used well, is a compass.

You lose part of yourself when you ignore anger.

How might anger be useful to leaders?

What concerns you about this topic?

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