Think back to a situation where you acted in haste, based a decision you wanted to take back on emotion, had a bad start to the morning negatively affect the rest of your day, or lost your cool due to irritability. How effective were you as a leader in these situations? How effective can you be as a leader if you knew how to manage your emotions better? And what results do you believe that would result in?

The better we understand the following framework, the better we’ll be able to not only lead ourselves, but effectively lead others because we’ll be able to help guide them through what can be an emotional roller coaster in sales, management, or any other position in the dealership.

First, let’s start by defining self-regulation.  The straight-forward definition is the ability to control ourselves on our own. It’s knowing how to keep our emotions in check. By keeping our emotions in check, we can influence our behaviour for the better which ultimately leads to better decisions and outcomes for everybody.

With an external event being a situation that happens outside of your control, let’s take a look at an example of a perceived negative situation, what your options are and how they ultimately impact your results.

Consider this example. You’ve spilled coffee on yourself that you bought for your team, they show up 15 minutes late, and you have a heat score waiting for you at work.

Internal Representation

Internal representation is your reaction to what’s happened based on your mindfulness, mental strength, values, beliefs, and memories of similar situations in the past.

You can choose the victim mentality with negative energy towards how the day is going to go, so it’s going to be a bad day. Or, you can laugh it off, accept responsibility for what’s happened, let go and know that your negative energy will hinder performance from the team. Despite the blunder, it’s still going to be a good day.


State is the type of energy you harness and give off to those who come within your proximity.

Choose to be a 3 out of 10 which then leads to attracting more negativity throughout your day, including underperformance from your team due to your inability to take control of what happened. Or, choose to be an 8 out of 10 which then leads to a feeling of empowerment, knowing that you overcame a difficult morning and shared that positive energy with the team. It leads to better performance because of your self-leadership.


It’s your physical representation of your current state of emotions. Your team and clients will notice your energy and state through your body language.

By choosing to be slouched, shoulders dropped, head down, slow walk, etc. you’re feeding the negative energy. Or, by choosing to be upright, chest out, chin up, power walk, etc., you are feeding your positive energy.


Think of behavior as what you do outwardly. You can act short-tempered, have negative tonality, operate in quiet or shut-down mode, and the like, or you can remain calm with positive tonality, be open and welcoming, and pleasant.

From here, this will dictate the results throughout the day. The first step is to buy into every situation knowing that it’s happening for us and not to us. This allows us to come from a place of empowerment versus victimhood.

A silent superpower to help you get the most out of this framework in my opinion happens between steps 1 and 2.  When we first start to feel the emotions rise up from something we don’t want to happen, use that as a trigger to start slowing down our breathing pattern.  I personally use a 90-second to 2-minute window using the box breathing technique which allows my heart rate to slow down and get me into a more calm and relaxed state. This helps with improving the internal representation and ultimately the final results of the day.

Essentially, we’re taking ownership of momentum.  A lot of the power of momentum rests on our shoulders as leaders. It’s our responsibility to take control of it as much as possible.