Frustrating – But Not Frustrated

Escaping the weight of difficult circumstances at work.

“I sense your frustration.”  That was the statement that was the catalyst to a personal “time out” for reflection and review.  I normally don’t consider myself affected much by the everyday challenges that running a 24/7 production facility brings but apparently, I was wearing my frustrations on my proverbial sleeve.

I remember the drive home Friday evening and shared my thought process with my spouse; “how did I get to the point that I allowed my emotional state to be overwhelmed where it would affect my communication with my team members?”

The weekend was spent journaling, reading, reflecting, and processing the events of the past two weeks.  While mentally processing, what became clear to me was this saying; “Things can happen that are frustrating, but I don’t have to get frustrated.”

Through the time of reflection, the pathway to return to the plant on Monday with a renewed sense of calm became clear and here are the points that helped me return to center.


This is no surprise – but it came as a surprise. When you are in the thick of the crisis or multiple crises we can lose grip on that truth. It is normal for things to break, people make mistakes, shipments arrive late, computers glitch, etc. There is no end to them The best thing to do is to treat the unexpected as expected.


Kendra Cherry at notes that “A locus of control orientation is a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do (internal control orientation) or on events outside our personal control (external control orientation),” explained psychologist Philip Zimbardo in his book Psychology and Life.

Knowing that we cannot possible own every situation – either the cause or the solution will free us from choosing to emotionally own the cause or individually own the solution. Understand your Locus of control – control what you can and manage your way through the rest.


You are not the only one dealing with the difficult situation. Your peers and direct reports are as well. To become overwhelmed with frustration is to fail as a leader. They need someone who can point the way not sit in the muck complaining and getting angry with questions like “how did this happen?” or “who is to blame?”

They need a leader to exemplify calmness, decisiveness, and to execute a plan toward the solution. So lead your team to the solution with calmness and respect

One thought on “Frustrating – But Not Frustrated

  1. Fantastic read! Very helpful reminders it’s easy to get overwhelmed right now dealing with supply chain issues.


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