In the book Emotional Intelligence 2.0, the authors, Bradberry and Greaves, define emotional intelligence (EQ) as “your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.” The authors go on to say that “it’s the single biggest predictor of performance in the workplace and the strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence.” Their research also identified that 90% of high performers are also high in EQ.
If EQ is so important, why don’t we hear more about it? Why is it not a standard part of training and development programs? And perhaps more significantly, why aren’t CEOs better at EQ?
Perhaps the most disturbing finding from the Bradberry and Greaves research revealed that “CEOs, on average, have the lowest EQ scores in the workplace.” Leadership is about inspiring others and motivating them to achieve their goals and dreams. This type of inspirational leadership is not possible without EQ. But yet, many CEOs fail when it comes to EQ.
Interestingly, middle managers had the highest EQ scores in organizations. So what happens when these middle managers become CEOs? The low EQ scores for CEOs could be a sign that CEOs lose touch with their teams, that they get too busy with strategies and boards and mergers, that they forget about the emotional side of leadership. They prioritize strategy over culture.
As you make your way to the top, don’t forget about Emotional Intelligence. And if you struggle with EQ, work at it; read about emotional intelligence and surround yourself with others who score high in EQ. Be a leader who understands your emotions and the emotions of others. Then use this understanding and awareness to manage the relationships with members of your team. The result will be a team that is motivated and inspired to achieve greatness.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. – Follow me on Twitter, @jvearle, and feel free to share my blog with others who like positive leadership.