The correlation between good leadership and emotional intelligence has been established in study after study. In fact, 4/5 of the difference between average and top-performing leaders is emotional intelligence. Consider that for a moment. You are much more likely to be a top-performing leader if you practice emotional intelligence.
Okay, well, how do we put EQ into practice?
There are lots of ways to answer that, but one way is to consider some often overlooked aspects of leadership.
In my book Creating Passion-Driven Teams, chapter two outlines the core responsibilities of front line workers, of managers, and of leaders. The responsibilities listed in this chapter make a huge difference in organizations.
At the leadership level, I point out that leaders are responsible for – among other things – collecting the ideas of what can make the organization better, the horizon (the regulatory, economic, and business horizons), and also the capabilities of the organization.
What do leaders do with those responsibilities?
They must communicate the ideas they have and the ones they collect and get feedback on them. They must also communicate their observations of what they see on the horizon. And, they must invest in the capabilities of employees.
To quote an old saying, “No man is an island.” Leaders who hold their cards too close to the chest don’t get valuable feedback, and the result is they rarely make the best decisions. There’s also an old proverb that says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
Over the years, it’s been my observation that good leadership and emotional intelligence are deeply intertwined. To collect, share and get feedback on ideas about company operations requires a foundation of self-awareness and self-management that under-gird strong, empathic relationship skills.
Is EQ needed?
Could a leader do these things listed above without emotional intelligence? Sure. Would it be done well? That’s up for debate. Remember, when comparing average performers with top performers, 4/5 of the difference between the two is emotional intelligence.
So, if someone were to ask, “What formula provides any given leader the best edge for success?” the worldwide study I just mentioned, plus hundreds of others, tells us that emotional intelligence must be part of the equation.
In other words, leadership and emotional intelligence are forever married. And I don’t think it’s even fair to teach leadership skills any more without teaching emotional intelligence.
With that, I’d like to give you a leg up … a way to help strengthen your leadership skills. Just click the image below and download a free copy of my latest book, 10 Steps for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence. That’s right — it’s free.
While you’re at it, you might want to swing over to Amazon to pick up a copy of my best-selling book, Creating Passion-Driven Teams. Just a thought. 🙂
Whatever you do, I urge to become a student of good leadership, and that includes becoming a student of emotional intelligence.