True Leaders Exhibit Emotional Intelligence

True leaders realize that it’s not just what they do, but how they do it, that determines how effective they will be as a leader. True leaders are emotionally intelligent leaders—and as a result they are self-aware, know their strengths and weaknesses, and connect with their people. They are also able to maintain a flexible and optimistic leadership style, show an active interest in others’ perspectives and emotions, and guide and inspire others with a clear and compelling vision. In addition, they easily develop and maintain the cross-organizational bonds that are so critical to the success of a broader mission.

The ability of an emotionally intelligent leader to sense what others feel and to understand their perspectives allows them to develop and communicate a truly inspiring vision. Under the guidance of an emotionally intelligent leader, people feel appreciated, they are willing to share ideas, they enjoy learning from each other, they make decisions collaboratively, and they just plain get things done. They feel their work is more meaningful because they understand that their efforts contribute to the broader good of the team and the overall benefit of the organization—an organization they respect and are proud to be a part of.

True leaders create a type of resonance, a resonance the causes a passion and enthusiasm to resound throughout the group.  Whenever major concerns crop up, these emotionally intelligent leaders use empathy to attune to the emotions of the people they lead, and they use that awareness to help move the team in a positive emotional direction.

Leaders who lack emotional intelligence are not true leaders, as their lack of awareness of and concern for the feelings of others creates a level of dissonance that often becomes the group’s preoccupation and deflects their attention from the mission at hand.

In Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, published in 2002 by Harvard Business School Press, Daniel Goleman (author of the international bestseller Emotional Intelligence) teamed with renowned emotional intelligence researchers Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee to explore the role of emotional intelligence in leadership. In their own words, “If a leader resonates energy and enthusiasm, an organization thrives; if a leader spreads negativity and dissonance, it flounders.”

Allen Stalvey
Coach, Author & Producer of the Success Empowerment Program
VP of Operations, 
Dallas / Fort Worth Area


3 Responses to True Leaders Exhibit Emotional Intelligence

  1. Jade says:

    So true. Leaders need to look at their followers as people with personal needs, hopes and dreams, not merely as a commodity. They are people, not things. A leader makes the employee feel like an owner in the company, not a renter. Having a passion for life doesn’t necessarily mean that you are outgoing or extroverted. It means being a balanced human being, having outside interests like family, church community… and not putting all their passion into just a business setting. “The ability to summon positive emotions during periods of intense stress lies at the heart of effective leadership.” (Jim Loehr)

    People have to FEEL like they are contributing, being challenged, learning new things and appreciated. Money plays a part , but most people don’t leave because of the pay, it’s because they don’t see THEIR future, they don’t fell they’re being groomed for a better opportunity, or they are just bored. Everyone must have a good understanding of what the mission of the business is, where its headed to form a good team.

    Mutual respect is a must. You need to look up to your leader as well as look out for each other with admiration and respect. A company doesn’t grow vertically, it grows horizontally too. You influence the way other people think, You want people in your company influencing others, whether it is customers, clients, or the community, in a positive way about your company. “Leadership is the ability to get extraordinary achievement from ordinary people.” (Brian Tracy)

    A good leader is able to be brave enough to tell people what they need to hear but compassionate enough to understand how that message is being received by the person they are giving it to. You don’t lead by hitting people over the head – that’s an assault, not leadership. Good leaders not only look for where they want to go, but will be figuring out who is coming up behind them and mentor them so that they can replace them when they advance, creating not a clone but someone who can approach problem solving and leadership differently as its needed. “A good manager is a man who isn’t worried about his own career but rather the careers of those who work for him.” (Henry S. Burns)

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