Emotional Intelligence – The Secret to Leadership Success

Emotional Intelligence – The Secret to Leadership Success

Some leaders seem to have an uncanny ability to respond appropriately in almost any situation.

Does this remind you of anyone?

Someone who knows how to tap into the right resources, gain support from the right people in the organization, handle stressful situations, and do it all with confidence and emotional calm?

Have you ever wondered what their secret is?

emotional intelligence elementsThe truth is, there is no secret. Successful leaders often have at least one thing in common: Emotional Intelligence (EI). It is the dominant ingredient that sets them apart from other leaders.

Decades of research has shown that EI plays a significant role in determining the success of leaders. It ranks well above many other qualities such as traditional knowledge, IQ, and management skills.

Daniel Goleman, the author of Working with Emotional Intelligence, reports that when IQ scores are correlated with performance, it only accounts for about 25% of how well people perform in their careers.

That leaves 75% of career success correlated to Emotional Intelligence. Goleman reports that it’s even higher for leaders.

Leaders with EI have the self-awareness to understand their emotional triggers and the ability to respond appropriately in challenging situations.

Leaders with high EI can also sense emotions in others and seek to understand, if they don’t already know why they are experiencing them.

These successful leaders don’t ignore emotional or stress signals on a team. They are proactive in helping others in the organization manage emotional reactions and respond appropriately.

Leaders who can manage and regulate their emotions are better positioned to influence others and their performance.

We can all improve our level of EI and learn to use it as an internal resource for having a long-term, positive impact on the organization and the people around us.

As you learn to regulate your own emotional responses, you can improve your own job performance and experience greater professional career satisfaction.

So, how do you develop this powerful quality that separates high-performing leaders from the rest? It starts by increasing your self-awareness.

To begin, start paying attention to your moods, emotions, and motivations. Make note of situations or ideas that trigger different emotional responses.

Then, seek feedback from people you work with and others you interact with. Ask them to help you gain insight on your personal strengths and weaknesses.

Finally, apply what you’ve learned. Consider your actions before reacting and take responsibility for your behaviors.

Recognize the impact your actions may have on others and create a plan for improving your leadership effectiveness.

When you have a plan in place for continual improvement, you can then monitor your approach and style based on your personal goals.

Self-regulate by using your awareness of your emotions to stay flexible and positively direct your own behavior. Take ownership of your own thoughts, feelings, and emotional reactions.

Today’s business environment of increased global competition and frequent change is one that will certainly test your personal effectiveness.

It isn’t always easy to minimize stress, negativity, or obstacles that interrupt performance. It requires the ability to suspend your judgement, control immediate impulses, and think before moving forward.

Leaders that exhibit EI, maintain a positive outlook, and provide their teams with a long-term vision for success, even during challenging times, help guide the organization to greater success.

While it’s not easy, it is a skill that can be mastered with coaching and practice.

CMOE helps leaders all over the world develop self-awareness, increase their Emotional Intelligence, and improve performance.

Contact CMOE today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your performance goals.

About the Author


CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.