From a traditional business perspective, emotions and other "soft" qualities have been considered inappropriate. However, research in the area of Emotional Intelligence (EI) has broken this paradigm showing that Emotional Intelligence may well be more important than technical skill or cognitive ability. When it comes to leaders, EI has been shown to be the critical difference between average and star performers. Leadership abilities such as inspiring, influencing, persuading, building trust and motivating all fall into the realm of emotional competence.
Successful leaders value their employees. They create a culture where employees feel acknowledged, valued and honored for their contributions. Charan and Colvin ("Why CEO's Fail, Fortune, 6/21/99) demonstrated that successful leaders put people before strategy. They integrate the knowledge gained from their emotions and the emotions of others to make optimal decisions (the very definition of Emotional Intelligence). They build trust, demonstrate integrity, and communicate effectively. Kouzes and Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge state in their article "The Best Learning Practices of the Best Leaders" that the first two tips for success are to be self-aware and to manage your emotions.
Fortunately Emotional Intelligence skills for leadership success can be developed, and significant, measured results can be achieved. Learn more about Emotional Intelligence and leadership by visiting these blog sites: EI Leadership, Leadership Development Philosophy and Leadership Challenge.