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Clin Lab Manage Rev. 1999 May-Jun;13(3):123-31.

What makes a leader?

Author information

  • 1Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA. Goleman@javanet.com

Abstract

Superb leaders have very different ways of directing a team, a division, or a company. Some are subdued and analytical; others are charismatic and go with their gut. And different of situations call for different types of leadership. Most mergers need a sensitive negotiator at the helm whereas many turnarounds require a more forceful kind of authority. Psychologist and noted author Daniel Goleman has found, however, that effective leaders are alike in one crucial way: they all have a high degree of what has come to be known as emotional intelligence. In fact, Goleman's research at nearly 200 large, global companies revealed that emotional intelligence--especially at the highest levels of a company--is the sine qua non for leadership. Without it, a person can have first-class training, an incisive mind, and an endless supply of good ideas, but he still won't make a great leader. The components of emotional intelligence--self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skill--can sound unbusinesslike. But exhibiting emotional intelligence at the workplace does not mean simply controlling your anger or getting along with people. Rather it means understanding your own and other people's emotional makeup well enough to move people in the direction of accomplishing your company's goals. In this article, the author discusses each component of emotional intelligence and shows through examples how to recognize it in potential leaders, how and why it leads to measurable business results, and how it can be learned. It takes time and, most of all, commitment. But the benefits that come from having a well-developed emotional intelligence, both for the individual and the organization, make it worth the effort.

PMID:
10557873
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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