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A Leader’s Frustration; How to manage negative feelings as a leader!

a leaders frustration

No matter how great a leader you are… a great leader at your job or in your personal life… no one is exempt from the feeling of frustration! We are human beings with a wide array of emotions and no one gets to be or lead happy all the time. There are many things professionally and personally that can and will cause frustration and negatively impact your leadership and work/life harmony if you let it: changes at work, a difficult employee, a difficult boss, a troubled marriage, parenting issues, or simply the “Busy” of your life! So, what to do? It sure isn’t stomping around the office, your relationships, or your life having adult temper tantrums… or disconnecting from the vision, standards, and expectations you’ve set or your organization has set. The answer is E.P.E.!


To evolve your leadership and work/life harmony you must be able to manage your feeling of frustration and it starts with being able to evaluate your thoughts, feelings, what happened, why it happened, and what’s needed to move forward. I must admit, I struggled mightily with this years ago! When I used to get angry or frustrated it would stay with me for days (three days to be exact) and negatively impacted the people around me… adding to the negative tornado of my life, relationships, and professional world. I only found this out when I decided to EVALUATE!

On day one, I was self-righteously in my anger, hurt, and frustration… behaving as a victim. As a leader, when you are at this point, it’s easy to lash out or disconnect; harming your reputation and your people who are following!

On day two, I was able to step outside of myself and identify the other person (employee, boss, co-worker, significant other, or child) as a human being… a “good human being”! It’s helpful to believe that most people are inherently “good”… even the “Grouches” at work and in our lives are good people but have had some awful things happen to them. This belief triggers a Frustration-Changing Thought… “The person I’m frustrated with is not a horrible person or the devil bursting out of the underbelly of the underworld. So, what would make him/her say or do the things they said or did?”. This purposeful thought changes everything! It propels you out of Self-Righteous Mode into Perspective Mode. What points does the other person have? What is your employee, boss, partner, child, etc. actually right about?

On day three, I was ready to look at how I acted and what I needed to improve. This is where the mock conversations you have in your head begin to focus on fixing the situation; turning frustration into learning, and growth!

This process was enlightening for me, but the problem was… it took me three days. During those three days I was disconnected, unavailable, and although I was thinking and growing; I most likely looked upset to the other person or people in my life. Therefore, when I was ready to approach and fix… the other person was hurt, disconnected, or sometimes even more angry. The trick is to collapse the time-frame! What used to take me three days; now takes minutes. I encourage you to evaluate quickly using what you just learned so you can get to the next step of Planning!


An important aspect of leadership and work/life harmony is planning for what you want and what you don’t want. Now that you understand your frustration and more about the people, organization, culture, or relationship you’re in… it’s time to accept it! This is the first part of planning. Accepting doesn’t mean you have to stay in it… but it is a complete acceptance of what it is! You know the type of company you work for, the employees you have, the type of boss you work for, the person you’re with intimately, your kids. Stop falling into a trap of “Shoulds” and what you think you “Deserve”… that has nothing to do with reality; only with how you’d like it to be. So, the question becomes, what’s the truth about who or what is frustrating you (the good and the bad)? Accept it for what it is!

Now that you’ve accepted it… are you going to stay or leave? If you choose to stay; stop complaining about what is. You’ve accepted the benefit of staying (whatever that may be… a safe paycheck, a great dental plan, a house to live in, etc.). The best thing to do is construct a plan of growth. What will YOU do to help you to Smile, Do Your Best, and Be Your Best… consistently raising your value and winning each day!

If you choose to leave… what would be the point of arguing or being frustrated any longer. Enjoy the fact that the countdown is on; while continuing to Smile, Do Your Best, and Be Your Best. You never know when paths may cross again and it’s always best to part on the high-road!


This is the hard part! Through this process, you’ve become more self-aware, enhanced your personal leadership… now it’s time to execute and follow-through! This is the part where most people fail and leaders excel. Whether you are evolving your frustration professionally or personally…  you have evaluated, planned, and now its time to grow and stay or grow and leave.

Most people who choose to stay at the job or in the relationships will make momentary changes but eventually, return to their base-line. This is not acceptable… as a leader, it’s your job to create a new base-line, a new standard, and a new level of expectation for yourself. Eventually, as you raise your value… if the company or relationship cannot or will not rise with you… you have your answer and know what you need to do!

Most people who choose to leave… don’t. Whether the job search becomes too much, the preparation too daunting, or the thought of leaving a comfortable lifestyle or relationship is just too much to think about right now, and a million other reasons. Following-Through will sometimes be the hardest to do, but can be the most rewarding… if and only if you have evolved, become more self-aware, know what you are looking for, your “Why” is greater than the pain of transition, and you are willing to be consistent in your evolution as a leader!

Frustration is a part of life… it’s inevitable. Use it to evolve your leadership and work/life harmony to be the leader you are capable of and a leader you will be proud of!

“Following-Through with a big life transition will sometimes be the hardest to do, but can be the most rewarding… if and only if you have evolved, become more self-aware, know what you are looking, your “Why” is greater than the pain of transition, and you are willing to be consistent in your evolution as a leader – Andre Young

Ready for a better work culture, improved interactions between leaders and employees, and fewer headaches professionally and personally? Take the pain out of your company by enhancing Leadership and Work/Life Harmony in your Company, your Teams, and Employees with Andre Young’s Speaking Engagements and Leadership Training Programs (on-site, online, or virtual)! Download Andre Young’s Free App, YEN Push, allow notifications, and enjoy a professional and personal evolution with his Question of the Week, Thought of the Week, and More! Enjoy your EVOLUTION!!!


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