I am hesitant to bring up politics when it comes to a management column. It’s not that I mind having a political discussion – I actually enjoy those. But the issue is that some people are so narrow-minded that they can’t get past the point of view expressed, so they never get to the lesson.
I know you are all better than that.
Did you watch the State of the Union speech earlier this week? Whether you like the president or not, you probably noticed the actions coming from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
From the miscue on the handshake to the tearing up of the speech at the end, Pelosi opted to show her displeasure very, very publically and very, very visibly.
Let’s not get into opinions of her or the actions. By now, you’ve heard the outrage from the right and the hoorays from the left.
Not the point.
The point, friends, is that the Speaker must be a pretty smart lady – or else she would not be in the lofty leadership position she’s in. After all, she’s, what, three heartbeats away from being our president? So if we agree she’s smart, then we have to assume that her actions were highly calculated and purposeful.
Or, could it be that she just got so angry, she lost it and acted out of pure frustration?
Dunno. Don’t care.
The point is that either way, there’s a lesson to be learned – and it may not yet be apparent.
Let’s take a step back.
We know that Pelosi is not a fan of President Donald J. OK, we can’t read her mind, but for crying out loud she’s made it pretty clear, right? Pelosi also knows that as the TV cameras broadcast the speech, she’s right there shining brightly in her white outfit. She absolutely knew all of her actions and expressions would be front and center for everyone to see.
What was her goal?
Maybe she wanted to make a point with the House Democrats she leads? Maybe she wanted to make a point with the public. Maybe she wanted to make a point to Trump?
Again, we don’t know. But unless it was a complete loss of self-control she had a reason.
So should you. Perhaps you want your employees to see you angry, or frustrated, or glad or happy. Doesn’t matter. What does is that you need to think it through. What impact will your visible display of emotions have? What outcome do you want – and will the display help you get there?
I had a coach a long time ago who told me that you can’t be the same all the time with your team. Your message gets stale and if you can be smart enough to mix it up in a way that gets a desired result, you’ll be better off. He also said that it was OK to yell at your players (remember, this was a long time ago), so long as you were yelling for effect and not out of anger. Yelling when you are angry is one of the worst things you can do, he said, because you aren’t completely in control of the intended message.
So which way was Pelosi going? Again, I’m avoiding the politics (even though I think I have a pretty good idea). Time will tell one way or the other.

Next week: More to come.

Business Playbook is written by Tim Timmons. Timmons’ book, Coaching Success: Creating Champions for the Business World is available at www.tim-timmons.com.