By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’s an idea to gain more control over your anger. Reading time: 2:53
Ohhh! If you could only install a punching bag in your office! You’re that mad!!
Well, how about trying another weapon of choice? Something you already have in the office.
Something more pointed.
Something lighter and easier to push around.
Consider making like a modern day Zorro. Unsheathe your pen. And figuratively rip your opponent to shreds. With the written word.
Sounds absurd? Tell that to President Harry S. Truman who exercised his Anger Writes in what historian David McCullough called “one of the most intemperate documents every written by an American president.”
Fortunately, Truman’s Chief of Staff intercepted the president’s vitriolic speech writing before it –and he–became a public embarrassment.
But at least President Truman’s pen vented his pent-up emotions. Now with the air cleared, Give ‘em Hell Harry’ could later think more constructively with his advisers to solve an escalating problem: striking union workers choking the economy.
33 Ways to Write Your Wrongs
You too can more constructively vent your frustrations by writing a speech or a letter that no one will ever hear or read.
Your written words can be therapeutic. In fact author Beth Jacobs provides 33 different writing exercises to better control your emotions in her book Writing for Emotional Balance.
Writing is “a checkpoint between your emotions and the world. (Journals) are very private but allow you to view your feelings from some distance, ” Jacobs notes. “In a journal, you can clarify, release, organize, and soothe your feelings. You can experiment without consequences.”
Pen Is Mightier
That’s why English novelist and poet Edward Bulwer-Lytton was right: the pen is mightier than the sword.
Than the Sword
Just check the history books. After all, with a pen in hand, leaders have even waged war more convincingly than merely brandishing a sword.
Consider the lethal pen of Thomas Paine.
During the Revolutionary War, Paine wrote Common Sense and Crisis — two stirring pamphlets that were “worth a regiment” according to George Washington.
Paine used his pen to harness and project his pent-up emotions into a vision and sense of mission that inspired American independence out of the depths of despair.
Likewise, Paine’s emotionally-charged writing paved the way for three other famous essayists a decade later who parlayed their pent-up frustrations on what a thriving democracy could be.
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay exercised their Anger Writes in proactively writing the Federalist Papers—87 essays that led to the ratification of the Constitution amid rigorous opposition.
You too can unleash your own set of “Federalist” papers championing something you believe in to overcome your pent-up frustrations. You too can write your wrongs. You too can exercise your Anger Writes. And you too can lead indePENdently! As long as you learn to make your point first. With a pen.
Write your wrongs to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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