Passion seems to be a word that is more readily accepted as a positive trait than being emotional, yet what is passion other than an emotional emphasis on what you are doing? A leader without passion and a display of true emotions and feelings is hard to follow or be inspired by. On a different occasion we can talk about emotional high jacking where we lose control, and do and say things we regret afterwards, but here I am talking about allowing ourselves the freedom to display some emotions and true feelings, and to be real – rather than being so politically correct and professional, that we appear aloof and cold. Doug Sundheim, author of “ Taking Smart Risks: How Sharp Leaders Win When Stakes are High” says, “Emotions are critical to everything a leader must do: build trust, strengthen relationships, set a vision, focus energy, get people moving, make tradeoffs, make tough decisions, and learn from failure. Without genuine emotion these things always fall flat and stall. You need emotion on the front end to inform prioritisation. You need it on the back end to motivate and inspire.”
As human beings we process information at both an emotional and logical level, and if we can learn to trust both sources, we will become better leaders. So the next time someone says to me "you are being emotional", I will take it as a complement!