Is Resentment Ruining Your Life as a Leader?

How many times do you think this of your boss: “If only he/she will leave me alone to do my job, I would be more successful”?

If you have that thought at all, you are harboring resentment. If it occurs frequently, you are damaging your life and your ability to lead.

Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Medicine and Miracles, in his life’s work studying exceptional cancer patients, cites resentment as one of the most damaging states of mind, affecting the immune system’s ability to fight cancer. He points to the words we use regarding resentment, like: this is eating me up as indicative of the physiological damage being done by the emotional state in the extreme case of cancer. I am not suggesting that if you resent your boss’s behavior you will get cancer. What I would like is to make you aware of the impact it has on your behavior and responses to the immediate environment when you are in the presence of the person who triggers resentment.

Bernie Siegel taught cancer patients what he learned about internal emotional states in order for his patients to change the influence these emotions have on their ability to fight disease. Many of them became exceptional cancer patients, beating the most confounding odds.

Marshall Goldsmith, author of Triggers, also explores resentment leaders have in the workplace and how it affects the leaders’ behavior towards others who are not necessarily the source of the resentment. If you have a strong reaction to an influential individual, typically you will not show that individual your anger. Newton’s law is that energy is never lost or found, just transferred. You will transfer that suppressed anger, maybe to the next person you encounter who has less influence over you.

Be honest with yourself about the resentment you might have at work.

Do you have proof that the individual is out to get you or is it your opinion?

Consciously adopt a strategy to reduce the power the emotion has over you and transfer that energy to changing the power the person’s behavior has as well. You cannot change that individual’s behavior; you can change your responses to it. It will take practice, may need a visual reminder like one on your phone or a note that you will see before any encounter with the person who triggers negative emotions. With consistent effort, you will reduce the power the caustic environment has over you and will dramatically reduce the emotional reactions, clearing the way for you to lead the way you always wanted to.

Don’t let resentment ruin your leadership career, contact me.

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