C-Suite Advisory

Why the LAST Emotions Can Get Leaders in Trouble

Have you ever snapped at your spouse or partner? Have you lost patience with your kids or employees or that supplier? Have you done something that you’ve regretted?

These mistakes happen when you lose control over your LAST emotions:

Loneliness. Anger. Stress. Tiredness. 

As a leader who wants to make an impact on the world, it’s important to say the right things, do the right things, and be a person worth following. However, if you’re not careful, all that pressure can boil over and land you in trouble. You can’t afford to have an outburst or breakdown at work, which is why understanding these emotional states can be the key to mitigating them.


The first emotion that can get you in trouble is loneliness.  Isolation is dangerous, and unfortunately, it’s common for leaders and busy executives to experience. A heavy travel schedule takes you away from consistent contact and relationships that keep you grounded and accountable.

Strong relationships require communication, reciprocal actions, and shared experiences to strengthen—all of which take an investment of time that leaders don’t have. This affects friendships, as well as your relationship with your spouse.

When you’re busy, you’re seeing and communicating with your spouse less, and you’re not being intimate, the result is loneliness. This can compromise your relationship, or even lead to infidelity. To avoid devastating mistakes, make sure that you’re prioritizing your close relationships and not putting your business first.


The next emotion to be aware of is anger. Anger is typically experienced because of fear or sadness resulting from anxiety, loss, disappointment, or discouragement.

As a leader, you’re paid to get results, and bad things happen when you don’t achieve them. If you continue to miss targets and profitability, the company has to lay off employees, which affects not only the employee but their family and community too.

What happens if you lose your edge, and competition steals market share? What if you lose your biggest customers or if a major issue happens in your supply chain?

The amount of pressure mixed with fear creates a recipe for anger to occur. To stave off anger, make a conscious effort to practice peace and patience in your everyday life. If anger is allowed to take over, you will inevitably say or do something that will be damaging.  It takes a long time to build trust and seconds to lose it through anger.


You might hear “stress” and think welcome to leadership, but stress is worth taking seriously. While not as instantly destructive as anger or infidelity caused by loneliness, stress can slowly drain your wellbeing and relationships if you let it.

Leadership brings mental strain because there’s always tension in solving problems, making decisions, and being responsible for the consequences of those decisions on people and results. The key is understanding how stress affects you personally and working to reduce it.

If time pressure causes you stress, then move timelines, reschedule meetings, or set new expectations with stakeholders. If you feel money pressure, find new sources of investment, eliminate fringe expenses early, or create plans to generate new revenue streams. If it’s people-related stress, talk to a counselor.

The right solution is only for you to decide, but realizing that you need a plan and solution is critical. Stress needs a release, or it causes damage, and you can’t be a leader who has an impact if you’re operating in stress mode.


Like stress, tiredness is a chronic problem that can kill you over time.  Due to the nature of leaders’ lives, mental and physical fatigue is fairly common. Consistent late nights finishing work. Poor sleep while traveling and moving between time zones. The constant mental strain of solving problems. All of these can sap your energy.

To combat tiredness, you need to plan time for rest, vacations, weekends, and taking off a Sabbath day. You rest, recharge, and reflect on your life, God, and relationships. Do whatever you need to do to stay balanced and energized enough to be an impactful leader.

You Can’t Eliminate LAST Emotions, but You Can Deal with Them

Loneliness, anger, stress, and tiredness will inevitably be part of your life as a leader. It’s up to you to deal with this reality and not let your emotions become unmanageable.

If you don’t, you risk your professional and personal relationships, your health, and your happiness. You simply can’t be a leader of impact if you let your LAST emotions run rampant—they are too damaging.

To protect yourself, have enough self-mastery to recognize your emotions, take a moment to slow down and reflect, and create a plan to alleviate them.

For more advice on making a significant impact on the world, you can find Becoming a Leader of Impact on Amazon.

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Braden Douglas
Braden Douglas is the founder of CREW Marketing Partners, one of the fastest growing marketing and creative agencies in Canada. Founded in 2007, CREW has won numerous awards for their service and brand leadership. Braden started his career in brand management at Frito Lay and Procter & Gamble, but throughout his life, his passion has been helping leaders make a significant impact in the world. He currently volunteers with LeaderImpact as a member of the Global Advisory Board, where he plays a key role mentoring leaders, speaking, and developing content. Braden lives outside Vancouver, British Columbia, with his wife and two kids. Braden Douglas is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow him on LinkedIn.