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Alpha Leaders - Are You a Cocky-Coward?

Have you ever felt out of place interacting with people, despite being an expert in your technical domain?

Maybe you've found yourself: • smiling nervously

• changing the subject

• avoiding eye contact

• having a rattle in your throat

• racing heartbeat

• shutting down

• feeling irritable

• procrastinating

• being passive-aggressive

• judging others

• judging yourself

• feeling defensive

• being aggressive

• thinking negatively

• being preoccupied

• or resorting to jokes and sarcasm to cope.

If so, you're not alone.

You have elements of the "cocky-coward" behavior, and so did I.

Let me share my story with you.

Years ago, as a software developer, I was ready to face a panel of higher-ups to discuss my plan for a new application. Little did I know this meeting would be a turning point in my life.

Confident and stylish in my blue-and-yellow-checkered Italian jacket, I presented my airtight technical plan. But when the barrage of questions came, my self-assurance crumbled. My fight-or-flight response kicked in, and I became defensive. I thought I was under attack.

In reality, everyone was kind and curious. The leaders just wanted to understand my plan.

That's when the truth hit me: I knew the tech stuff but was clueless about the people stuff.

I had to face my emotional intelligence gap.

That meeting was a wake-up call. Regardless of my technical prowess, my insolent, cocky self wouldn't help me in the corporate world or my career. I was hiding in plain sight, avoiding experiences that brought emotional tension and discomfort.

I was a master at strategizing, analyzing, eliminating, or including possibilities, but I couldn't control the deep, complicated, well inside me, the mental and emotional intricacies that make me human. I lacked emotional intelligence.

Over time, I faced my deep-seated issues and embraced personal transformation. I learned that I had to have the courage to face my triggers and grow from the discomfort.

My algorithms could only get me through the door, but my attitude determined how far I would advance.

How about you? If you've felt something similar, let me tell you, there is a better way.