Over the past 30 years, the nature of communication at work has changed. Leaders in particular rely increasingly on email to communicate with their superiors and subordinates. However, researchers and practitioners alike suggest that people frequently report feeling overloaded by the email demands they experience at work. In the current study, we develop a self-regulatory framework that articulates how leaders’ day-to-day email demands relate to a perceived lack of goal progress, which has a negative impact on their subsequent enactment of routine (i.e., initiating structure) and exemplary (i.e., transformational) leadership behaviors. We further theorize how two cross-level moderators — centrality of email to one’s job and trait self-control — impact these relations. In an experience sampling study of 48 managers across 10 consecutive workdays, our results illustrate that email demands are associated with a lack of perceived goal progress, to which leaders respond by reducing their initiating structure and transformational behaviors. The relation of email demands with leader goal progress was strongest when email was perceived as less central to performing one’s job, and the relations of low goal progress with leadership behaviors were strongest for leaders low in trait self-control.