Many leaders believe that it is wrong to lead from a place of emotion, but strong leaders know how to channel and control their emotions for others’ benefit.
- In a recent Forbes op-ed, Driving Force Institute CEO Patrick Riccards discussed the importance of emotion in his leadership style.
- He argues that authentic leadership requires self-awareness, relational transparency, balanced processing, and a strong moral code—all virtues which grapple with emotions like happiness, sadness, fear, and anger.
- Leaders can find authentic leadership in the emotions drawn from stress, punishment, and rewards.
Why It’s Important
Riccards describes speaking recently with a successful business leader on his leadership styles and says that the individual struggles to grapple with emotion in his leadership. But he argues that it is harder to be a strong leader when you are devoid of emotion and that leaders should not consider emotion a net negative.
He argues that strong leaders need to be able to manage their emotions, take advantage of their emotional decision-making, benefit from emotional highs and lows, connect to their organizations, and create passion and drive in their teams. Leaders who know how to control their emotions maturely can channel them effectively and for the benefit of their organization. Strong leadership requires human interaction and the ability to authentically connect to others.
“As a novice leader, I thought I could implement a followership model. Now, as one who helps establish new organizations and turn around struggling ones, I’ve found I am an authentic leader who can use inclusive leadership when it is needed,” says Riccards. “Leaders should not run from emotion, believing that an autocratic, almost robotic approach to decision-making is a stronger form of leadership, one that represents a superior, more alpha style. No, leaders need to embrace their emotions, own their passion, and instill it in their teams each and every day.”
“The absence of emotion too often is seen as apathy, indifference, and unaffecting. It is a model that could just as easily be delivered via AI. Who wants that in their leader? Instead, we should be seeking those who are passionate, intense, soulful, energetic, fierce, and powerful. We want—and deserve—emotional leaders,” he continues.