Leadership sweet spots intersect at EQ HQ

“In the fields I have studied, emotional intelligence is much more powerful than IQ in determining who emerges as a leader. IQ is a threshold competence. You need it, but it doesn’t make you a star. Emotional Intelligence can.”

~Warren Bennis, leadership pioneer, author and researcher

My dad was in the business of chasing bad guys across paper.

And he was really good at it; he had found his sweet spot. He had found the intersection of:

  • What he was passionate about
  • What he was really good at

Detective in charge of forgery and fraud in the California Central Valley town I grew up in, chasing bad guys (and gals) across paper.

What dad’s passion was as a young man was justice, maybe a little on the side of the wild west side of justice, but full of “to protect and serve” just the same.

After the Air Force and years of being a patrolman he found what we was really good at: finding the folks involved in check scams and credit card scams and embezzlement scams and identity scams and the like.

My dad was (is) smart — book smart and street smart — but he had an edge, the uncanny ability to empathically connect with anyone, anywhere at anytime. As the kids would say, he had the “soft skills” goin’ on.

He had organically developed the ability to lead “self” with lots of emotional intelligence, before emotional intelligence was truly defined and developed as it is today in the workplace (L1 in the Glowan L3).

Good guys, bad guys, in the middle guys (and gals) — it didn’t matter. He could immediately connect with them. Rapport and trust soon followed. His emotional self-awareness and awareness of others’ emotions and actions knew no limits. Some can counterfeit this behavior, but it can’t be sustained with any authenticity.

No wonder those he arrested couldn’t help but like him; he called them his “clients”.

That was all well and good, but from a police “business” perspective, he had a very high case-closed ratio and his arrests usually stuck and were prosecuted.

Of course, he had return customers, but he just kept doing what he did until he retired in early 1994.

During his career he had the opportunity for multiple leadership roles and was recruited by other city police departments and even the secret service, but he never wanted to leave where has was and the position he was in.

Thank goodness for that, because otherwise my mom and him maybe never would’ve met.

There are those who just naturally develop their EQ, but most of us need assistance in the form of assessments, development programs and coaching in order to be better empathic leaders of self and others.

Leadership sweet spots intersect at EQ HQ. That’s Em-Tel worth gathering.

Here’s a business example of what developing high EQ can do for you:

Fortune Brands saw 100% of leaders who developed their EQ skills through classroom training, coaching, and online learning exceed the performance targets set for them in the company’s metric-based performance management system. Just 28% of leaders who failed to develop their EQ skills exceeded their performance targets (Bradberry, 2005).

That’s a pretty big difference and there’s a lot more research out there to substantiate the value of assessing and developing emotional intelligence.

Be better and brighter.


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