Towards the end of President Obama’s time in office he was interviewed about how he manages the stress of his job. He talks about exercise, dinner with his family, keeping a long-term perspective but also that “I don’t get too high, don’t get too low.” I remember hearing him say that at the time and wondering, can that type of emotional control be taught or is it something you are born with?

Revisiting this now, I also wonder if it is something you acquire? If the accumulation of daily challenges and fire-fighting helps you build a broader emotional bandwidth, though the opposite can also be true!

As a leader of any size team you are being be watched and your responses or reactions will influence those around you. It is the same in a family. It is impossible to get it right every time; but sometimes just the act of trying to control your emotions sends an important signal to those around you.

If you have a view on emotional control as the leader or it’s something you want to discuss, drop me a note. Like many of the facets of leadership; it’s an issue with no right or wrong answer.

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