What distinguishes great leaders from merely good ones?

What distinguishes great leaders from merely good ones?

It isn’t IQ or technical skills, says Daniel Goleman.

It’s emotional intelligence: a group of five skills that enable the best leaders to maximize their own and their followers’ performance. When senior managers at one company had a critical mass of EI capabilities, their divisions outperformed yearly earnings goals by 20%.

The EI skills are:

  • Self-awareness—knowing one’s strengths, weaknesses, drives, values, and impact on others
  • Self-regulation—controlling or redirecting disruptive impulses and moods
  • Motivation—relishing achievement for its own sake
  • Empathy—understanding other people’s emotional makeup
  • Social skill—building rapport with others to move them in desired directions

We’re each born with certain levels of EI skills. But we can strengthen these abilities through persistence, practice, and feedback from colleagues or coaches.

  • Daniel Goleman (born March 7, 1946) is an author and science journalist. For twelve years, he wrote for The New York Times, reporting on the brain and behavioral sciences. His 1995 book Emotional Intelligence was on The New York Times Best Seller list for a year-and-a-half, a best-seller in many countries, and is in print worldwide in 40 languages. Apart from his books on emotional intelligence, Goleman has written books on topics including self-deception, creativity, transparency, meditation, social and emotional learning, ecoliteracy and the ecological crisis, and the Dalai Lama’s vision for the future.
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