There’s the old saying, “don’t fix what’s not broken.” I think many times in our organization we don’t mess with the familiar because to us, as leaders, it doesn’t seem broken, even if it is not producing the results it once did. Are you more afraid of the fall out of messing with the familiar than you are of getting mediocre results?

Mentally Strong Leaders Refuse Unrealistic Expectations

According to emotional intelligence (EQ) studies by Dr. Daniel Goleman the higher a leader rises in an organization, the less important technical skills become, and the more important EQ becomes. Leaders who do not develop their emotional intelligence have difficulty becoming a 360º  leader. They struggle with building good relationships with peers, subordinates and their superiors. In fact “EQ counts for 80-90% of the factors that distinguish average from outstanding leaders.” This indicates that in order for you to move from good to great you need to grow your emotionally capacity.

6059832534_04e9456b65_z photo courtesy of Cali Lesson Illustrations on Flickr.com

Mentally strong people avoid expecting immediate results.

We need to understand that there is a difference between an immediate response (your direction) and immediate results (your destination). Do not confuse the two.

We live in a society that wants immediate results. Instant meals, instant credit, instant results. However, instant often bypasses the good for the now. Successful leaders understand that they are in it for the long haul. They apply their energy and time in increments so that they have staying power to accomplish the task. They realize that genuine change takes time.

“Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting.” (Romans 8:22-25 MSG)

Mentally strong leaders understand they can change their direction overnight, but they cannot change their destination overnight.

Mentally strong people avoid feeling the world owes them something.

A sense of entitlement is a sure sign of mental weakness.

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.” ~Mark Twain

Arguments about ‘paying my dues’ or ‘I’ve been here the longest it belongs to me’ take away your power to change and grow.  Mentally strong people understand that in order to continually succeed they must be prepared to continually work hard.

Mentally strong people avoid giving away their power. 

They realize they are in control of their emotions and refuse to allow others to make them feel inferior. They choose how they respond to any given situation, even those outside their control and whether they change in response to it.

Be aware when your emotions begin to control you rather than you control them. When you start losing the power over your own emotions it is an indication that you need to recharge/recreate to avoid becoming a mentally weak leader.

What are you going to do today to begin developing your Emotional Intelligence?

Mentally Strong Leaders Don't Walk Backward (Pt 1)   Recommended reading: 177 Mentally Tough secrets of the Greats by Steve Sebold

Mentally Strong Leaders Don’t Walk Backwards.

We’ve all met them. Kids who did so poor in school they were lucky to graduate but now are at the top in the business world. Or the co-worker who is absolutely brilliant but stuck in an entry level position blaming his boss for not recognizing his true potential. Why does one succeed where another fails? What distinguishes average leaders from outstanding leaders?

flickr.com/gareth1953/5219326886 (image courtesy of flickr.com/gareth1953)

Dr. Daniel Goleman, an internationally know psychologist and science journalist, asserts that emotional intelligence (defined as the capability to be self-aware, self-managing, interpersonally effective, stress tolerant, and optimistic) counts for 80-90% of the factors that distinguish average from outstanding leaders. His research indicates that the higher a leader rises in an organization, the less important technical skills become, and the more important EQ becomes.

This is a clear indication that in order to move from good to great we need to grow our emotional capacity.

Mentally strong people avoid wasting energy on things they can’t control. “Complaining is like bad breath, you notice it when it comes out of somebody else’s mouth, but not your own.” ~Rev. Will Bowen. Outstanding leaders understand that in a bad situation the only thing you can control is your attitude and response.

Mentally strong people avoid dwelling on the past. Successful people learn from past successes and mistakes and continually strive to move forward, eliminating the temptation to allow the past to become an anchor holding them back from growing to meet the next challenge.

“A retentive memory may be a good thing but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness... Be a good forgetter. Business dictates it, and success demands it.” ~Elbert Hubbard.

Mentally strong people avoid wasting time feeling sorry for themselves.  You can’t moan and lead at the same time, so don’t dwell on your circumstances or what happened to you. Never waste a crisis. Understand that sometimes life is not fair, and be grateful for the lessons you have learned.

Mentally strong people avoid making the same mistake over and over. Research shows that the ability to be self reflective in an accurate and productive way is one of the greatest strengths of spectacularly successful executives and entrepreneurs.

How to avoid making the same mistake over and over:

  1. Reflect daily. “What happened in my world today?” “What could I have changed?” Past reflection can be good if it will affect future action.
  2. Be honest with yourself and take the excuses away. “What did I learn about myself today?” “Human nature seems to endow every person with the ability to size up everyone but himself” ~ John Maxwell.
  3. Self Talk. What what you are saying about yourself. “95% of your emotions are determined by the way you talk to yourself” ~Brian Tracy.
  4. Take action. “Does my reflection lead to action?”

What are you going to do today to begin developing your Emotional Intelligence?