How The Most Successful Leaders Respond

Josh Linkner
July 28, 2019

Josh Linkner

Five-time tech entrepreneur, hyper-growth CEO, NY Times bestselling author and venture capitalist.
Leadership Leadership Leadership Speaker

We all get provoked. An angry associate; a cranky customer; a snarling spouse. In these cases, the primitive part of our brain designed to protect us in the wild kicks in and our autonomic response is to recklessly fire back. We lash out, hit below the belt, and respond with uncontrollable emotion.

That's where the problems begin. We end up saying things we regret and damaging relationships. The impulsive reaction generally creates far more damage than good and can lead to the undoing of companies, families, and careers.

Fortunately, we have a choice. No matter how aggressive the stimuli, we can respond deliberately. Think about your own breathing for a moment. You can control your breath (hold it, speed it up, pace it) or you can let your body run on autopilot. You have the identical choice to make when aggravated.

The most successful people pause for a few seconds and then proactively decide how to respond. They recognize their internal instincts, but then thoughtfully consider a range of options before issuing a knee-jerk response. They think about what would be most productive at that moment. They put their ego aside and deeply consider the path that will lead to the best outcome. They realize that they may not be in control of what comes at them but are in absolute and complete control of their response.

In the game of chess, grandmasters think many moves ahead. When an opponent makes a threatening gambit, the master pauses and considers the full spectrum of possibility. They think about their next move, their opponent's various reactions, and then, which move should be made for each of the various what-if scenarios. While the game is combative by nature, strong players are deliberate and emotionless at every step of the way.

In the coming week, you will likely be provoked by someone or something. Why leave your response to caveman instincts when you can be the grandmaster of your own life? If each of us took that one small step - to pause, evaluate, and carefully think before we react - imagine how much better our community would be.

When you choose your responses wisely, you elevate your game, both personally and professionally.


To book Josh Linker for your next event, visit his profile: https://premierespeakers.com/josh_linkner

Josh is the author of four books, including the New York Times best-seller The Road to Reinvention: How to Drive Disruption and Accelerate TransformationHacking Innovation: The New Growth Model from the Sinister World of Hackers, and Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity. To order copies in bulk for your event, please visit BulkBooks.com.

The post How The Most Successful Leaders Respond appeared first on Josh Linkner.

Josh Linkner

Want Josh Linkner for your next event?

Find out more information, including fees and availability.
Find Out More
Keep Reading
The 5x5 Decision Model
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
September 22, 2019
You've got a tough decision to make, yet conflicting interests and perspectives can render you frozen from taking ...
Five Big Questions to Gain Clarity, Sharpen Focus, and Drive Results
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
September 15, 2019
In our increasingly busy and scattered lives, getting clear and focused ...
The Unique Problem-Solving Approach of History Makers
Josh Linkner
Josh Linkner
September 08, 2019
For decades, transportation experts and city planners who studied traffic congestion ...
The 5x5 Decision Model
You've got a tough decision to make, yet conflicting interests and perspectives can render you frozen from taking decisive action. We’ve all been there. Having observed how the most successful people evaluate their options and then make a thoughtful decision, here's a framework that may be helpful when you’re trying to make a choice in the face ...
Read More
Five Big Questions to Gain Clarity, Sharpen Focus, and Drive Results
In our increasingly busy and scattered lives, getting clear and focused can feel like an insurmountable task. We live in an era of distractions vying for our attention the way high-strung paparazzi try to capture that perfect celebrity photo. Knowing that most of us can't take a three-month sabbatical to hang with monks in mountainous isolati...
Read More
The Unique Problem-Solving Approach of History Makers
For decades, transportation experts and city planners who studied traffic congestion in major cities came to the conclusion that not much could be done to improve gridlock. Based on available street widths, speed limits, and other constraints, they were correct. But Elon Musk approached the problem in a completely different manner. Instead of...
Read More
The Can't-Not
The promo for tonight's local news runs across your screen: "Two of the items in your pantry right now could kill you. Tune in at 11:00 to find out which ones." After hearing this announcement, you can't not tune in. When you learn about a hot tech company that offers unlimited days off, tuition reimbursement, cool offices, and a change-the-worl...
Read More
How Tiny Innovations Can Yield Gigantic Results
Gaining competitive advantage, better serving customers, and standing out from the pack can feel just about as challenging as running a double marathon barefoot. The difficulties are exacerbated if we find ourselves in mature industries with deeply entrenched market leaders possessing the resources of a small country. How can we compete and win ...
Read More
How Swapping Two Words Can Transform Your Success and Happiness
As the competitive nature of our world continues to increase, success can feel elusive. Whether your sights are set on landing a promotion, raising capital, wining that new account, or inventing a game-changing product, you'll need to break free from traditional thinking in order to seize success. The ones who score the brass ring are not nec...
Read More
Playing Guitar With Three Missing Strings
Studying jazz guitar in college, I had a professor that would force me to remove strings from the instrument. One, two, sometimes three strings had to be removed before I attempted a performance. You might guess that gutting half of my available resources would crush my ability to play, let alone be creative. Yet a surprising and counterintui...
Read More
How The Most Successful Leaders Respond
We all get provoked. An angry associate; a cranky customer; a snarling spouse. In these cases, the primitive part of our brain designed to protect us in the wild kicks in and our autonomic response is to recklessly fire back. We lash out, hit below the belt, and respond with uncontrollable emotion. That's where the problems begin. We end up s...
Read More
A Powerful Two-Step Approach to Drive Results
When we look to initiate change or growth, some sort of behavior shift is generally required. Want to sell more products? It probably involves making more cold calls, training more salespeople, or improving marketing efforts. Looking to remain relevant in the workforce? This objective will likely require more learning, reading, or skill developm...
Read More
What a French Creole Cooking Term Can Teach Us About Customer Loyalty
After finishing an incredible meal in the French Quarter of New Orleans, the best part of the experience may very well be the lagniappe (pronounced LAN-yap). While it sounds like a fancy seafood dish, a lagniappe is actually an unexpected gift. That special dessert, complements of the chef. The small box of chocolates for you to take home. Th...
Read More