Every Exceptional Leader is a CEO (Chief Emotions Officer)

18th October 2016

Studies have shown that a typical leader influences the working climate of their team, somewhere between 50-70%. They do this mainly through the process of Emotional Contagion.

I’m fortunate enough to have spent my career working with some incredible leaders, ones who truly appreciate the significance of their role as the emotional steer, the person who sets the emotional climate where people thrive, the Chief Emotions Officer of their teams.

Many of us have had the unfortunate experience of having a manager who creates a negative climate, where fear, uncertainty and stress are the norm. However hopefully we have also worked for a leader who exudes enthusiasm, passion and warmth and who can be described as an emotional magnet. These emotionally intelligent leaders or Chief Emotions Officers are the ones we want to stay working for and to whom we give our best effort. Their ability to use emotional contagion to spread positivity relies on their capacity to manage their own emotions under pressure and for all leaders this is super important.

In the book Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, the authors write:

“No Leader can afford to be controlled by negative emotions, such as frustration and rage or anxiety and panic”

“Because emotions are so contagious – especially from leaders to others in the group – leaders’ first tasks are the emotional equivalent of good hygiene: getting their own emotions in hand. Quite simply, leaders cannot effectively manage emotions in anyone else without first handling their own.”

If you are the type of leader who manages their emotions well, remains calm under pressure and creates a positive climate, this emotional magnetism will not only help you attract the best  talent, importantly you will be the leader that keeps it.

However from my experience it is incredibly common for leaders, particularly passionate ones, to struggle to manage the frustration and anger they feel. In my next blog, I will share some top tips on how to manage emotions under pressure, freeing you to be the Chief Emotions Officer or emotional steer of your organisation.

Author: Emma Turner

Emma works closely with leaders to build successful teams, retain top talent and maximise performance. Founder of Zenergos, an app based company helping people build the energy, resilience and inner calm associated with high performance.