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How Strong Leaders Manage Their Emotions

Conserva Irrigation is the largest irrigation franchise in the United States. The company established a successful, repeatable model for operating the business which helped the company grow to more than 44 territories across the country. When Conserva’s founder and Vice President stopped by his local founding franchise location, he was surprised by what he saw.

Russ Jundt walked into the location and found that it wasn’t being managed in accordance with the company’s operating principles. Russ says, “To come back into my own shop, and to find out that our team wasn’t running the very play for which I was teaching others to do and follow—that was a very passionate moment for me.”

Rather than get mad at the team members, Russ utilized what he refers to as the “star approach”: take the situation or the task at hand, identify and explore the thought behind it, and the result.

While Russ was speaking about the rational for the operating principles and the methodology itself, one technician threw up his hands in displeasure and left the room. At this moment, Russ took a pause to identify which emotions he was experiencing: frustration and disappointment.

After briefly reflecting on the situation, Russ followed the technician and calmly spoke with him further about his reasoning and perspective. The interaction between the two was positive and Russ was able to remain authentic, as well as exercise self-control over his emotions.

Harness Your Emotions

As the influence of your leadership grows, self-control of your emotions will become more and more important. Developing the ability to calibrate your emotions as you influence others around you is an important management skill. However, it’s not just about managing your emotions, it’s also about becoming self-aware so that you can adequately respond to challenging situations.

Small Actions Can Have a Huge Impact

Russ notes that the smallest actions from leaders can have a significant impact on team members. That is why Russ treats each situation as a training moment that can be used to help someone learn. “For example, if an employee was overheard speaking to a customer negatively, we pull the employee aside to discuss what happened. We do this after some time has passed, so that his/her head, and the manager’s head, are both clearer.”

To create learning opportunities for team members, Conserva Irrigation uses the following 4-step process:

  • Individuals acknowledge what a team member is doing well
  • Present the issue
  • Openly discuss possible solutions
  • Further acknowledge the team member

During his time leading Conserva, Russ has learned that emotion comes from drive and heartfelt passion. Though these are great qualities, they have to be self-managed. Russ says, “After all, we don’t get to where we’re at as entrepreneurs without that passion.”

Call (804) 621-7167 to request more information about irrigation franchising opportunitieswith Conserva.