Leaders, Followers & Emotional Intelligence

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More than ever today, business executives have to operate as both leader and follower in the daily rounds of their job.

Those who study leadership begin to take more interest in the ‘psychological contract’ between leader and followers. In other words, they began to ask what makes people prepared to follow one leader and unwilling to follow another.

These ideas are now changing both the way we think about leadership and the style of our leaders. This is in tune with other social and organisational developments, including the move to more participative management and the rise of industrial democracy.

Other new ideas are also gaining ground. For example, only now is the notion of ‘emotional intelligence’ becoming widely understood. For the leaders of the future, it is likely to be as important as a high IQ.

In his ground-breaking 1996 book, “Emotional Intelligence”, the American psychologist Daniel Goleman explored the issue of personal and professional effectiveness. He argued that in a business world too often obsessed by cold analysis, the emotional climate is more important to the success of a leader than previously recognised.

At senior levels, ‘emotional intelligence’ rather than ‘rational intelligence’ marks out the true leader: “The qualities of leadership and the quality of the heart are largely the same”. This may explain why someone like Branson, who twice failed his elementary mathematics exam, can make a better leader than someone with a degree from Harvard Business School. Branson’s ‘emotional intelligence’ – his ‘people radar’ – is more keenly developed.

According to Goleman, studies of outstanding performers in organisations show that about two thirds of the abilities that set star performers apart in the leadership stakes are based on emotional intelligence. Only a third of the skills that matter relate to raw intelligence (as measured by IQ) and technical expertise.

“Our emotions are hardwired into our being”, Goleman explained. “The very architecture of the brain gives feelings priority over thought”. There is a sign in Harvard’s rat lab that says: “Rats under carefully controlled conditions will do any damned thing they please”. The same is true of human beings. Leaders ignore emotions at their perils.

Most important of all, the role of leaders in developing the next generation has too often been neglected. If we are to grow as a society, this must be the priority for the future. As Sir Adrian Cadbury, the former Head of Cadbury Schweppes, has observed: “Good leaders grow people, bad leaders stunt them; good leaders serve their followers, bad leaders enslave them”.

 

Today’s News:

Successful Selling is All in the Mind
Tuesday March 16th 2010 12 noon EASTERN

Is it all about attitude?  Is it all about motivation? Are either more important than skill? And what about knowledge of what you are selling?

What IS the mental connection to high performance?  Does one really exist?

What are mental exercises that you can do to strengthen your “game?”

Do you have to believe in your product or service to be successful, really successful, at selling?

So many questions, important ones. Join our crack panel of sales leaders who will do their best to break this down, examine it and weigh in what they believe really is essential for true sales champions. Oh, and expect some terrific tips from them as well!

Join an all-star panel: Billy Cox, Lori Richardson, Daniel Waldschmidt, Michael Griego and Nancy D. Solomon.

FREE REGISTRATION HERE

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  1. says

    In his ground-breaking 1996 book, “Emotional Intelligence”, the American psychologist Daniel Goleman explored the issue of personal and professional effectiveness. He argued that in a business world too often obsessed by cold analysis, the emotional climate is more important to the success of a leader than previously recognised.

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