Many of the hierarchal and authoritarian styles of leadership have become obsolete, and we’ve experienced significant strides in replacing them with our advanced experiential knowledge. Rewards-punishment“transactional” management styles have proven unproductive. New studies have encouraged us to embrace “transformative styles” in which organizational leaders inspire their teams to achieve a collective purpose.Ads by
Yet we’re still in the transition zone. We need to equip more leaders with the skills that combine interpersonal abilities, including empathy and trust, with the capacity to model creative problem solving when faced with tough situations. We refer to this skill set as Emotional Intelligence (EI). EI is such a crucial job skill that its positive impact on the workplace has nearly surpassed technical ability, as proven by its popularity in recent years.
In simple terms, EI is the ability to identify and manage emotional information in oneself and in others. Although it has proven its value in the workplace, we continue to experience a scarcity of this new brand of leadership talent. According to a global survey by Deloitte, leadership is the most urgent concern when considering gaps in workforce readiness.
Why haven’t we done a better job of cultivating high EI skilled leaders? One reason is that we continue to mistakenly believe good technical or sales skills translate to good management skills. The thinking that has unfortunately hung on seems to be: If they excel at analyzing, fixing, and selling, then they are able lead others to excel, as well. But the facts are that these skills and competencies have little to do with being a good leader.
Another erroneous standard of leadership talent is mistakenly assuming that high IQ is a predictor of leadership strength. While leaders likely have higher IQs than followers, the qualities that make up strong leaders go far beyond one’s cognitive intelligence