Leaders are humans, not machines; therefore, they are susceptible to bad moods just like everyone else. The difference between effective and poor leaders is that good leaders have developed the ability to get beyond a negative mood or bad situation and find the positive or at minimum, look for lessons learned. Sometimes the positive is simply a fresh or innovative way to address a problem or challenge that raises the spirits and hope of those around them. If you are a leader, do a mood and attitude check before you speak to your team, lead a meeting or engage with those that look up to you and depend on you for direction. Leaders must rise above a negative situation or bad mood for their own benefit and for those around them.
When we are positive and in control of our situation, we have Serotonin flowing through our brains giving us energy and contributing to our wellbeing and happiness. When we are negative and under stress, Cortisol is coursing through us activating our fight or fight response and also contributing to us making poor decisions and potentially reacting negatively.
The best leaders have high levels of self-awareness and are conscious of their inner state, mental attitude, and the potential positive or negative impact their approach can have on their decision making ability and the spillover effect on their followers.
Three steps to clarity:

  1. Breathe – Calm and measured deep breaths allow you to achieve balance. This in turn leads to mental clarity, emotional stability and clear focus that contribute to better decision making.
  2. Positive mindset – Find a quiet place to focus on something positive or something you are grateful for. It could be a person, event, or a tranquil or peaceful spot you visit. For some it could mean prayer or mediation. Let your mind and breathing calm you and restore balance.
  3. Reframing – Engage in “what if?” thinking. Let you mind consider alternate outcomes such as new approaches, stopping something that isn’t working or implementing a new and unique approach.  Listening to your gut and trusting your intuition can be great ways to help reframe and innovate.

The next time you are struggling with a bad mood or negative attitude, rise above the situation by leading yourself to a positive mindset and constructive way of thinking and behaving rather than infect those around you.
Your attitude is infectious – choose one that is positive!