Addressing Emotional Career Challenges When So Much Is at Stake

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What’s your response to hardship in the face of immense pressure and disruption?

Editor’s note: This is part two of a six part article. 

In the first article of this six-part series on Emotional Intelligence development, I made a big statement, “It’s Never too Late to Create a Bold Self-help Plan & Execute it.” I also cited three success stories from clients I worked with recently who demonstrated that the power of personal and professional change is within everyone.

But the bigger question is HOW to attain this. In the spirit of “We are all each other’s teachers,” what do we learn from each other to inspire us to change ourselves? Ask most people about their career ascents, and they rarely discuss technical competence as the primary driver. Instead, many cite being a good collaborator, the importance of adaptability, and the being both self and socially aware of the people and events around them.

With almost a decade of motivational speaking, executive coaching, and college teaching, I am often asked, “What are the most essential things you have learned from clients and students?”

A more important question is, “Why should anyone care about my response?”

Because it has massive implications on your career trajectory. Ascend or descend? Both are always in play depending on your actions, reactions, and how you treat others. My conclusion and subsequent insights

Most people overestimate the value of intellect, and drastically underestimate the importance of:

  1. Self-correction: How to effectively adjust when plans go awry. Your ability to adapt (or not) can define or defeat you.
  2. Temperament. Stay levelheaded and do not let emotional responses hijack you when adversity strikes. This is emotional intelligence in action; a critical competency companies seek in their leaders. Your EQ is always on display and heightened for better or worse under the most nerve-wracking circumstances. Good news: You can learn to stay even tempered even though when surrounded by others constantly pushing your proverbial buttons.
  3. Good Judgement: The capacity to exercise this is often crushed under the weight and collapse of great expectations. Intense pressure and duress lead many to become irritable, anxious, and ill-tempered, thus clouding their judgement. They can be easily distracted and lose focus. It causes self-inflicted harm and diminishes the reputation many work so carefully to develop.

So much of our success each day relies on these reactions and interactions. Yes, our intelligence – or IQ – in different areas is critical; our technical skills and abilities help qualify us to do certain jobs and functions. However, it is our emotional intelligence that determines how successful we’ll be in accomplishing anything we pursue.

How then to adjust to unexpected challenges under intense strain?

Sadly, many working professionals lack the tools to course correct when changing conditions derail their plans. This is rarely taught in school and most corporate development programs do not address it. Fortunately, the answer to what I learned from clients and students inspired me to write the emotional companion to A Climb to the TOP. The book is called The MOMENT THAT DEFINES YOUR LIFE. It was released on February 6th and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Discover the life-changing power of emotional intelligence and stoicism through captivating stories of individuals who overcame adversity, learned crucial lessons from life and career-defining moments, and rose to personal and professional heights.


For the sake of your career, it is worth examining your behavioral tendencies when times get tough. How do you respond to hardship and stay focused on positive outcomes despite immense pressure and disruption? Do not leave this to chance. There is too much at stake. These are learned behaviors to be cultivated throughout the course of your life. If you don’t know where to turn beyond the book, reach out. I can assist.

The Moment instructs, inspires, and ignites positive behavioral change to successfully address life’s most trying situations. You will learn to manage your emotions more effectively by integrating two powerful approaches to life’s most impactful moments. From philosophy to social science, you will uncover and examine the evidence, relevance, and results that come from shifting your mindset as you turn tragedy into triumph. Finally, you will develop a blueprint to understand and cultivate the tools needed to significantly improve self-awareness, empathy, and leadership skills that apply to your career, family, and life.

Where do you fall on the EQ scale and how you are dealing with the fight and flight choices you face each day? Visit to learn more.

Related content:

Part 1: It’s Never too Late to Create a Bold Self-help Plan & Execute It

Execution Quotient (XQ): Your Most Valued Career Currency [Video]

Execution Quotient (XQ): Your Most Valued Career Currency [Video]


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