Emotion: What I Learned From Chasing Mom with a Plastic Bug

I chased mom around the house with a plastic bug when I was young and foolish. I laughed. She screamed. It was a short-term strategy.

Emotion can’t tell truth from fantasy.


Your relationship with emotion matters more than the things you feel.

Emotion, reality, and perception:

Emotion reflects perception.

A horror movie isn’t real, but it’s real scary. After the movie you can’t sleep because aliens might take control of your mind.

Expectation creates emotion.

You expect a raise. The boss invites you to the office. You’re excited. You expect to get fired. The boss invites you to the office and your heart races. Actually, your heart races in both instances.

Want creates emotion.

You don’t get the promotion you wanted. You feel sad, frustrated, even vengeful.

Experience impacts emotion.

The first time you lead a meeting, you sweat like a pig. The hundredth time, you lean back with your hands behind your head.

Your relationship with emotion matters more than the things you feel.

I enjoy being scared at a movie. I even like the cheap thrills. (Although The Grudge scares the crap out of me! I can’t watch it.)

Managing emotion:

A person controlled by emotion is unstable, unpredictable, unreliable, and eventually unhappy.

We make emotions.

Keeping a gratitude journal generates positive emotion. Reality doesn’t change, but your relationship with it does.

Make your passion instead of following your passion.

Logic doesn’t resolve emotion.

It didn’t help to tell mom it was a fake bug. You can tell yourself it’s just a movie but you’re still afraid. Just accept it.

You may need to contradict emotion.

Examine your bank account when buying a car, not your feelings.

Emotion isn’t the judge of reality.

Use performance metrics when evaluating employees, not whether you like them or not.

How is emotion helpful/harmful to effective leadership?

How might leaders manage their emotions?