The Power of Anger

The Power of Anger

Wow! If only we could harness the energy we expend on anger. I see people get angry, I mean really angry sometimes when they lose an account, a proposal gets rejected, they lose their job, or an activation goes south. Often there is blaming. It seems it is always someone else’s fault—and there is the anger about the “stupidity” of others.

I watch (and yes, I can shamefully admit that I have had that anger in me) people hold their anger for days, weeks, and even months. They focus on it every day. They talk about it, rant about it, and let it fester in their system to the point that they can even create anger among the team about the situation. Now everyone is angry. Everyone focuses on “them” who made this bad situation happen. Now you have a team of four or even 10 expending energy and time being angry about something that happened and is in the past. It is over and done—other than the blaming and anger.

As I said, I have been there. I remember working for an international restaurant chain (Red Lobster) and was the closing manger one night. We had a new POS (Point of Sale) system—software and hardware from a company known as Remenco! It was 1:00 a.m. and I was closing down the Fairview Avenue location in Burlington. The system froze. I could not shut down, escape, or do anything—even reboot (unplug and re-plug in). I reviewed the manuals and called the help desk. It was closed. If I did not close down the system, it could neither report the sales nor open for the next day of operations. I called other GMs to see if they had issues. No one did—just us. I was so angry, I opened the back door, threw “that piece of crap” into the alley, and watched it smash into a million pieces. I felt better, but was still angry! If only I could have harnessed all that anger energy and turned it into something productive like making notes of all the things I tried, the situations that appeared, and what was on the screen (no “screen shots” back in 1985). That may have been helpful (in fact, way more helpful than throwing the computer out the door into the alley) going forward!

Think about all the energy we waste. If an activation went wrong, what if we took all that anger energy and put it into review and analysis (beyond just blame)? The same goes for “Why did I lose my job?” and “What can I do now—how can I find new work?” What if we could take all that energy and harness it for positive outcomes versus anger and blaming?

I am far from perfect, but I try to redirect my anger toward thoughtful reflection, review, and planning for going forward versus blame and anger. Unfortunately, I still get angry and waste energy, but I recall throwing that Remenco office computer into the back alley, and most times, that grounds me into doing what’s right rather than wasting a great harness of energy!

If you have excess energy, why not bring it and share it with the all the folks attending the WSC® – Alberta Forum next month in Edmonton. (Please leave the anger at home… lol!) I have a limited number of 20% discount offers over and above whatever the present discounted rate is for the WSC® 2023  If you would like one and will use it to register this month, please email me and I will give you the code.

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  1. I’m curious as to what your boss had to say about this?? I hope they praised the length of your toss haha!

    • Lol… almost got fired. Was put on probation… long before “anger management” was a thing… so no classes to go to.


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