news2use | June 2024

Don’t get so emotional, I heard while growing up and in the early years of my professional career. Today, as I reflect on the many years of experience that shaped me, I realize how dull and drab a life without emotion would truly be; perhaps something like this:

A Life Without Emotions


In a world so cold, and so grey.

Where feelings fade and drift away,

No joy to brighten the darkest night,

No sorrow’s tear, no heart’s delight.

A hollow echo, voices still,

No laughter’s song, no anger’s thrill,

A barren land, where hearts do not beat,

A life without emotions, incomplete.

No love to warm the winter’s chill,

No fear to climb the daunting hill,

A silent void, a muted sea,

A life without emotions, cannot be free.


For too long, we have been told to lock up our emotions behind closed doors and disregard them in favor of rational thinking and efficiency. Yet we run our lives, and our businesses as human beings, reminding us that business is above all, human, and thus we are invited, even compelled to bring our emotions into all that we do.

As we close the month of June, our halfway point in 2024, enjoy your June news2use, and above all, honor your emotions!



“Relevant & pragmatic ideas, tools and insights to play at your best.”

For You

Ever said something that you later wish you had not?

Felt guilty about overreacting to an incident at work or home?

Ever had an emotional incident influence non-related situations long after the event?

If so, chances are you have lost your head.

To lose one’s head means to become confused or overly emotional about someone or something. When we lost our head (temper) we are less likely to see another person’s perspective, and this hurts our ability to build respectful relationships – risky for leaders and professionals at all levels.

Here are two ways to “keep your head (and your wits) together.”

Pay attention to the early signs of your emotional storm and take three deep breaths BEFORE your storm reaches those around you.

Imagine that you mentally go to the balcony and look over the whole situation BEFORE erupting, then come back to the person or situation at hand. You can do this in a matter of milli-seconds with some practice.

The next time you feel like you could lose your head – think quickly about the outcome you are aiming for and then you will have a larger range of choices of how to act constructively.

For You & Your Team

A leadership team recently met to discuss how they could improve their business outcomes to keep pace with their strategy ambitions. I was serving them as the “fly on the wall”, observing their interactions so that I could later help them reflect on their experiences.

The executive team lead was a capable leader, yet he was under a great deal of pressure from the executive team that he reported to.  As he spoke about the strategic priorities, milestones, and resourcing issues, his messages didn’t appear to connect or seem relevant to the team members.

The leader, sensing that his messages weren’t hitting home, began to raise his voice and started using more “we must” and “we have to” language.

I could feel an undercurrent, another energy emerging from the team members, and observed them as they cut off eye contact with the leader, looked down, or eyed each other.

This continued for a few very long minutes when the leader looked to me at the back at the room and signaled, “any ideas”?  I sat forward in my chair and ask, “How are people feeling about where we are right now?”

This triggered a series of questions, concerns, and frustrations from many of the leadership team members.  The underlying fear was that several senior board members had recently shared with others (outside of the team) that this strategy, with its current direction, might not be the best path forward for the business.

We adjusted the agenda of the leadership meeting, set in place a plan to reconnect with the senior board members, and soon thereafter realigned the strategy with the aligned priorities of the business.  Later the executive team lead got a commitment from the board members that they wouldn’t criticize this strategy prior to voicing their concerns directly with the executive team leader.

Everyone was satisfied and, over time, this leadership team and the organization they led delivered on their business strategy.

It was not rocket science that turned the tide of that meeting.  It was recognizing when emotional energy deserves attention and then managing those emotions in a professional manner.

This is leveraging the emotional edge.  Highly effective leaders are aware of the emotions they transmit, know how to manage these emotions, and are able to competently recognize and deal with the emotions of others.

Emotions and feelings happen before thought and they happen at great speed.  Giving emotions attention and the legitimacy they deserve will help you leverage the emotional edge.

For You, Your Team & Your Business

A setback is a clear sign that you are in the learning zone. Don’t take your setbacks into the closet where you quietly mend yourself. Get your setbacks out in the open, speak about them, and share what you learned from the experience. Use the S.A.C.R.E.D. framework to constructively accelerate the learning from personal, team, or business setbacks. 


Separate yourself from the setback. Early in my career, I took setbacks far too personally and this chipped away at my self-esteem until I learned to separate setbacks from self.

Anticipate the rewards beyond the setback. There is no achievement or aspired future that comes without some struggle or sacrifice.

Construct positive self-talk. Setbacks linger when you let negative, self-defeating language dominate your self-talk.

Reflect during setbacks and take note of your emotions and actions that you want to modify. Do you simply need to turn your perspective a few degrees or do you need a radical adjustment to move through the setback?

Elicit feedback from stakeholders for ideas and approaches for the future.

Develop multiple options (ideally three) that you can use to compare ways to move through a setback. Options mean choice, and choices empower us.


How can you make your setbacks more S.A.C.R.E.D.?

People, Places & Technology

Large group company off-sites, (50 people or more) are effective venues to build team spirit, align strategy and deepen cross-functional relationships and work practices. Over the past two months, I have moderated several off-sites where the outcomes exceeded expectations. While a great location won’t ensure a breakthrough group meeting, the right hotel, in the right location, will help the hard-working leaders feel valued and thus contribute to high-yield personal and business outcomes. Here are three locations that worked exceptionally well the past two months, give them a look when you are setting up your next large group company off-site:


The JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel in Bucharest, Romania

The Yacht Hotel on Lake Chiemsee

The Hotel Gut Brandlhof (south of Salzburg, Austria)


Thought for the Day

“An ounce of emotion can be more effective than a ton of facts.”


Contact Information

Dan Norenberg
Wensauerplatz 11
81245 Munich
Phone: +49 172 862 5123

About Dan Norenberg

Dan Norenberg improves leadership performance and organization results through Executive Ownershift®, his transformational growth process for executive teams. As a trusted advisor, consultant and professional speaker, Dan’s mission is to enable executive teams and their organizations to play at their best.