How do we really define leadership? As we know, leadership is defined in so many dimensions that it’s hard to put a single label on it. To share my voice if I had to put a label on it, I would define an effective leader as having a high degree of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence could be defined as the capacity to be aware of, control, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is an umbrella of components. This includes having self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills.
Self awareness means having a yawning understanding of ones emotions, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and drives. For example, an executive is candor with himself at the fact that tight deadlines draw out the worse in him. He will plan his time accordingly to get work done well in advance. His hallmarks consist of his thirst for constructive criticism so that he can always improve his areas of weaknesses. This demonstrates his ability to have a realistic self assessment of his strengths and weaknesses. People who tend to have a high degree of self awareness recognize how their feelings affect them, other people, and their job performance.
Self-regulation is the ability to control or redirect disruptive biologic impulses and moods. It’s like the propensity to suspend judgement and think before acting. For example, when a team carries out a poor presentation, the leader takes the initiative to resists the urge to scream. Instead, she may consider possible reasons for failure, and explains these consequences to her team and explores future solutions with them. She’s comforted with ambiguity and change. Has the ability to deny impulsive urges.
Motivation is driven to achieve for the sake of achievement. Someone who is passionate about their work and the sake for new challenges. A pioneer that brings emotional labor to the table day in and day out. They are the person the team can’t live without. An example could be a project manager at an IT company and he sees his project tumbling over for consecutive quarters. Instead of throwing the blame on external circumstances, he decides to educate himself from the experience and engineers a turn around. They have a drive to surpass goals and thriving to always succeed.
Empathy is considering the feelings of others, especially when making decisions. They have a special knack for attracting and retaining talent as well as the ability to develop others. Hence, have a sensitivity to cross-cultural differences and willing to take all emotions into consideration.
Social skills is the culmination of the other dimensions of emotional intelligence. People tend to be very effective at managing relationships when they can understand and control their own emotions and empathize with the feelings of others. Socially equipped people have a knack for finding a common ground with people of all kinds and a knack for building rapport. They don’t think it makes sense to arbitrarily limit the scope of their relationships. It’s essential to build these bonds of networks because during fluid times, they may need help someday from people that are within their scope of relations.
As we lead with excellence in the ordinary, it’s essential we take emotional ownership of the space were walking into and even the space were adjacent to. We have to be the person are team members can’t live without. Thus, bringing emotional labor to the table. Emotional labor is the hard work you demonstrate; when you show up even when you don’t feel like it. If we show up in a way that helps somebody else feel different, we tend to get others hooked on this memorable experience. People will always buy into somebody that cares and something that matters.