“What Are You So Mad At?” Managing Yourself As An Act Of Leadership

Take a look at this three minute clip from the movie Seabiscuit.

“He fouled me!”

“What am I supposed to do, let him get away with that!?”

“He almost put me in the rail!”

“He cut me off!”

“He fouled me!”

So – I’ve got a question.  Have you ever been “fouled”?  Have you been “cut off”?  Has someone tried to put you in to the proverbial rail?  If so, how’d it go?  Did you stick to the plan?  Or were you seduced by the inner voices like the jockey in the video?

Isn’t it amazing the type of behavior we can justify when we feel we have been “fouled” in life?  In a moment of unmanaged self our greatest plans can be thrown to the wind.  Winnable races can be forfeited all on account of a wrong that we feel needs to be made right – right now!

No doubt, there are moments when poor behavior needs to be held accountable.  But whose work is that?

Is it ours?

And who decides?

I wonder if some of us (yes – including me) have found ourselves prone to be the perpetual judger and punisher of all who transgress us?  I mean, who will hold the law breakers accountable?  Who will set right all that is being done wrong – if not us?  Am I right?

Oh my, how noble we can make ourselves sound  as we watch the race of life get away from us in the name of making sure others pay the price for their transgressions against us.

Lest you think I’m just picking on you – I have soooo done this.  Time and time again I have lost sight of the point of a race, a conversation, a relationship, a collaborative effort.  I have allowed myself to get triggered – that feeling that comes in our gut and chest that, left unchecked, can take the sanest of minds and have them justifying the poorest of behaviors.

But all is not lost.  This is where a growing leadership toolbox can really make a difference.

Leading well calls out to the most triggered of us and begs us to manage ourselves.  It begs us to get clear about our greater purpose.  Great leadership is not only clear about purpose – it holds to that purpose even when others are giving us every reason to lose sight of it.  It evaluates next moves, not based off of fleeting emotion but off of an understanding that purpose matters.

So, have you been fouled lately?

Has the emotion of that foul got you justifying behavior that’s working against your purpose?

“What are you so mad at?”

WARNING — Shameless promotion!! — If this feels close to home for you…a leadership coach can help.

Keep going!  Progress matters.


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