Can an Entrepreneur be an Emotional Leader?
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Do you feel that to make an impact in the boardroom you should leave your emotions at the door? Well, you’re NOT alone. That’s how most entrepreneurs operate. Most entrepreneurs are proud of shielding their innermost feelings and hiding under the weight of being a business owner. However, being ‘emotional’ is entirely a natural part of being human and there’s no need to bury it under the carpet.
The fact is that, business isn’t entirely a number-crunching, strategy-building product. A business stems out of a deep sense of passion and purpose. Remember the time you started your business? It was born out of an idea YOU believed would change the world. That’s your story and it has great emotion attached to it that’s valuable to YOU. So, why pretend to cover up your state of flow of energy, of excitement, of the doubt when you’re faced with a challenge?
The Emotional Affair
Your emotions have the power to empower or disempower you from accomplishing your goals. They are of two types: Empowering & Disempowering. Empowering includes care, love, kindness, compassion, excitement, loyalty etc. And Disempowering emotions are attachment, ego, anger, frustration, jealousy. Our emotions affect our perception. An entrepreneur showcasing his or her ‘human’ side plays a critical role in the success of the venture. Why? Because a successful & profitable business is built on meaningful & fulfilling relationships. When you channelise your emotions - your team, business partners, customers, vendors take notice of it. The productivity of your employees will increase when you show emotions like care, love, kindness and empathy. This will, in turn, reflect on the way your customers view your company/brand. Everyone likes to invest in a brand that cares for them.
Emotions and Intelligence
The most effective way to demonstrate ‘realness’ and authenticity in YOUR business is by displaying emotional intelligence. As a leader, you should be able to recognize your emotions as well as those you’re in contact with. Interpersonal awareness is a must when you’re calling the shots. You should demonstrate the capacity to translate your feelings, your vision into both verbal & non-verbal gestures. Remember, suppressing your emotions will burn you out sooner than you think. Instead of shutting down try using your emotions as cues that you can act on.
By showing emotional intelligence you learn to adapt to your surroundings better, you start empathizing with your subordinates and create an environment that’s a win-win for everyone associating with you.
Are Negative Emotions a Problem
But what happens when you’re faced with harmful & negative emotions? Use these emotions as signs and get to the root of what you’re actually feeling & why. Emotions are functional in nature. Don’t be overwhelmed by your emotional energy because it can cloud your sense of clarity and judgement, another critical attribute for a leader. Use your negative emotions as a diagnostic tool so you can change it to something positive, constructive
To build a successful business, a leader must have an emotional connect with his partners and employees. Otherwise, he would be perceived as robotic and inefficient. Emotion is a fuel, it is the energy that sets you in motion so you can take the necessary action. As an entrepreneur, while you have the necessary willingness and passion to grow your business, very often it can crumble under the weight of your everyday pressures. But by using your emotions to communicate assertively and channelling YOUR potential energy, you can unlock the secret of successful entrepreneurship.
So, be emotional, be human and build an extraordinary business by being open & truly committing to the journey.