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Leadership & Emotional Intelligence

abstract:Are leaders born or can they be nurtured? When I think of the qualities that signify leadership I look at a person's principles, charisma, problem solving capabilities, perceptiveness, decisiveness and their determination to complete tasks or solve problems when others falter. That requires taking responsibility and speaking your mind irregardless of whether your opinion is going to be "popular". Sometimes leaders are born when they do a particular "good" - like the little girl who stands up against bullying in her school and goes on to create an intra-school movement of awareness and action. It's recognizing a need and stepping-up. Next you need to be a good communicator or at least one in which your passion shines through so that people with the necessary skills and energy to help you fullfil the goal decide to come on board. Some say being a good delegator is key to not burning out. Creative or innovative thinking is a great quality, and intelligence comes in all forms.

Some say that "social intelligence" or "emotional intelligence" is the best quality of all. That latter term was first coined in the late 60s and became the title of a book by Daniel Goleman in 1995. A decade later Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition; Why It Can Matter More Than IQ has been released. And it's worth taking a look at the book that popularly coined the phrase and has become a standard marker of leadership today.


May 18, 2013
— The application of EI to leadership skills was made in 1998 when Coleman studied 200 global businesses:

Goleman found that while the qualities traditionally associated with leadership—such as intelligence, toughness, determination, and vision—are required for success, they are insufficient. Truly effective leaders are also distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill.

These qualities may sound “soft” and unbusinesslike, but Goleman found direct ties between emotional intelligence and measurable business results. While emotional intelligence’s relevance to business has continued to spark debate over the past six years, Goleman’s article remains the definitive reference on the subject, with a description of each component of emotional intelligence and a detailed discussion of how to recognize it in potential leaders, how and why it connects to performance, and how it can be learned.

5 Emotional Intelligence Qualities

From the author's post in—Harvard Business Magazine, Daniel Goleman.



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