“A Fellow doesn’t last long on what he has done. He has to keep on delivering” – Carl Hubbell
Leadership…. What is leadership? When Googling the term leadership, one finds many definitions. Some of them are very matter of fact, such as “a person who directs and guides a group” while others are more philosophical, as 4th century BC Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu asserts “a leader is best when people barely know he exists”. The definition that resonated with me the most was written by Kevin Kruse and states “leadership is a process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal”. This definition is plain and simple and gets straight to the point.
That’s great you might say, but what makes a good leader and how can I get one? Well, as if you didn’t already know, a person’s title or position within the company doesn’t necessarily make them a good leader, nor does a long list of credentials after their name. Intelligence, motivation and determination, also do not necessarily equate to good leadership. Psychologists Peter Salovey, John Mayer and Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. researched this very subject and came to the conclusion that in addition to the stereotypical definition of a leader, “truly effective leaders are also distinguished by a high degree of emotional intelligence, which includes self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill” (2004). Data from Goleman’s study revealed that effective leaders displayed a greater level of emotional intelligence and were more effective than those without it.
I don’t know about you, but that strikes a chord with me. The ability to examine one’s own feelings as well as the feelings of others, and then applying that information to guide one’s thinking and actions follows along the same lines as the definition of leadership. In order to be an effective leader one needs to not only understand themselves, but to be able to truly understand others and the best way to work with them to get the most optimal results. This is something everyone can relate to and can greatly impact one’s happiness and life in general.
So what’s the good news here and how will that help me, you might ask? Well, emotional intelligence isn’t something you have to be born with. There are numerous ways people can improve their emotional intelligence. Some people may have an easier time than others and it may take a good amount of work, but it is possible.
Now, how to convince your boss…